Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has challenged the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya opposition coalition to organize protests following the passing of the Finance Bill, 2023 by the National Assembly.
Kuria’s comments came in response to Azimio’s announcement of a public consultation meeting to discuss the way forward after the bill’s passage. He stated that demonstrations are not monopolized by anyone and that if the opposition holds protests against the bill, they will also organize protests in support of it.
Kuria emphasized that the streets do not belong exclusively to one group and that they too can exercise their right to protest. He issued a direct challenge to Azimio, saying, “Tukutane huko,” which translates to “Let’s meet there,” indicating their willingness to engage in demonstrations in response to Azimio’s actions.
Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party had invited Kenyans to a consultation meeting scheduled to take place at Kamukunji Grounds on Tuesday, June 27th, to discuss the way forward after the controversial Finance Bill was passed.
The coalition expressed confidence in finding solutions to the challenges they face and called on people to gather and decide the kind of life they want to live.
The opposition party criticized the Kenya Kwanza administration for disregarding the objections raised by Kenyans during the public participation stage and accused them of forcing the bill on the citizens.
They described the regime as illegitimate and claimed that it ignored the concerns, fears, and aspirations of the people. Azimio viewed the passing of the Finance Bill as an imposition of the government’s agenda on the citizens.
Earlier, Azimio had called for a complete withdrawal of the Finance Bill 2023 to allow for further deliberation on the proposed law. However, during the parliamentary debate, both Azimio and Kenya Kwanza aligned leaders presented arguments for and against the bill. Despite Azimio’s opposition, the majority prevailed due to their numerical strength.
The Finance Bill has been met with strong public disapproval, particularly concerning the proposed increase in VAT on fuel from 8 percent to 16 percent and the introduction of a 1.5 percent housing development levy. These measures were passed by the MPs, disappointing a majority of Kenyans.
The political landscape is intensifying as both sides express their positions and contemplate mobilizing their supporters for demonstrations. The consultation meeting organized by Azimio aims to strategize on their next course of action in response to the Finance Bill’s passage.
Meanwhile, Moses Kuria’s challenge reflects a willingness to counter-protest and show support for the bill. The situation remains dynamic as the opposing factions navigate their respective paths forward.