Azimio One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga has yet again issued ten demands to President William Ruto amid the raging standoff over the Finance Bill 2023.
Key among the demands is the immediate withdrawal of the Bill that has sharply divided the court of public opinion.
“We ask Ruto to humble himself, withdraw this bill, offer apology and seek forgiveness from Kenyans for anxiety caused then and begin afresh,” urged Raila who warned against the use of threats to have the bill passed in parliament in his address to the media Thursday.
“Should Ruto overrun the National Assembly, we will regroup and overrun him in the Ward and National Assembly of the whole people of Kenya.”
Raila further warned the Kenya Kwanza administration against imposing punitive taxes on Kenyans saying the move was bound to negatively impact economic growth.
“As this bill heads to the National Assembly, we must remind Ruto that excessive taxation is stifling growth. We must tell Ruto that when people have to pack cars at home because of cost of fuel, it is bad for the economy. We must tell him that when Kenyans postpone travelling upcountry, because they can’t afford fuel or fare, it is bad for the economy.”
Rather than burdening Kenyans, the Opposition is calling on the ruling regime to stop duplication of county roles and responsibilities and adopt a zero-based budgeting approach.
The government has also been urged to live within its means by cutting down the size of the budget.
According to Azimio, this can be done by sealing the loopholes that lead to the loss of revenue, stopping non-essential government expenditures including the appointment of Chief Administrative Secretaries, reduce the size of government and by cutting non-essential domestic and international travel.
The Opposition is further calling for a freeze on ministerial out of station allowances, ministerial house allowances and domestic allowances for Cabinet and Principal Secretaries and wants corruption and theft of public funds stopped.