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September 20, 2018

Ruto pledges 'quick' solution on fuel crisis

DP William Ruto with a group of youth in Kuria, September 7, 2018. /DPPS
DP William Ruto with a group of youth in Kuria, September 7, 2018. /DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto on Friday said the government is working hard to resolve the hike in fuel price due to the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products.

Ruto was speaking in Kuria region, Migori county where he assured Kenyans not to worry as the matter will be addressed.

“Let me assure you that the government is in talks with the Members of Parliament to resolve this issue amicably. We understand what the people are going through and as a government, we have the responsibility to listen to you,” said Ruto.

He said the government is keen to ensure a healthy balance between sourcing for development revenue and interests of the common Kenyans.

“We are a responsible government and we understand the interests of the people. We shall find ways of looking for money to fund development while ensuring the common people are not overburdened. Rest assured that this matter will be addressed soon,” he said.

The price of fuel in the country hiked following the coming into effect of the 16 per cent Value Added Tax imposed on all petroleum products in 2013, but was differed for two years.

However, a high court sitting in Bungoma town yesterday temporarily halted the imposition of the 16 per cent VAT tax.

Read; High Court halts 16% VAT on fuel products

Treasury CS Henry Rotich on Thursday met MPs in a bid to resolve the matter.

“You saw the CS for finance with MPs. This shows we are on top of the things on this matter,” added Ruto.

Separately in Rongo sub-county during the campaign of ODM senator candidate, former cabinet minister Ochilo Ayacko, the party elected leaders said President Uhuru Kenyatta should not put into law the high tax.

Led by Suba MP and ODM chairman John Mbadi, area MP Paul Abuor, Migori County MP Pamela Odhiambo and their Mathare counter Anthony Oluoch said parliament had already rejected the hike.

“We expect the President to ascend the move by legislators to reject the taxes if he brings it back with changes we will still reject it,” Mbadi said.

Abuor said Kenyans should use the stand on legislators on rejecting the 16 per cent tax on fuel products to make their decisions in 2022.

“If it comes back and legislators pass it, which will not be likely, then Kenyans should seek the list to make their decision in the 2022 ballot without any favour on parties,” Abuor said.

During the tour, the DP announced that the government has set aside 200 million to build and equip technical training Institutes at Mabera in Kuria West and Kendege in Kuria East.

According to the DP, the government will pay Sh 30, 000 as fees for students besides accessing loans from the Higher Education Loans Board.

He also announced the tarmacking of several roads in Kuria including the Isibania-Ikerege-Kehancha, Kehancha-Kegonga-Ntimaru-Gwitembe and Kehancha-Lolgorian-Narok roads.

The DP gave out 200 million to equip Kegonga and Ntimaru sub-county hospitals in Kuria East.

The MPs who accompanied the DP vowed to rally the community behind the DP in 2022.

"The DP has walked with us for long and we know what he has done to this community. He has been a good friend. That is why we will stand with him in 2022," said Marwa Kitayama, Kuria East MP.

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