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February 20, 2019

State to cut deal with MPs to fix high fuel costs, says Ruto

DP William Ruto and Kuria traditional dancers during the opening of Masaba Boys’ Secondary School in Kuria, Migori, on Friday /DPPS
DP William Ruto and Kuria traditional dancers during the opening of Masaba Boys’ Secondary School in Kuria, Migori, on Friday /DPPS

DP William Ruto on Friday said the government will resolve the hike in fuel prices that resulted from the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products.

He urged Kenyans not to worry. Ruto spoke in Kuria, Migori county.

“The executive is in talks with MPs to resolve this issue amicably. We understand what the people are going through and have the responsibility to listen to you,” he said.

Ruto said they will balance Kenyans’ interests against development revenue.

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

Read: We'll resolve fuel crisis, Ruto assures as pump prices spark outrage

The 16 per cent VAT was imposed on all petroleum products in 2013 but was deferred for two years.

High fuel prices and hoarding by traders have caused a public uproar as scores of leaders and the general public appeal to the President to intervene.

On Thursday, the High Court in Bungoma temporarily halted the tax. This came as Treasury CS Henry Rotich met MPs to resolve the crisis.

“You saw the Finance CS meet with MPs. This shows we are on top of things on this matter,” Ruto said.

He said the government is committed to realising the Big Four agenda. Ruto urged politicians to shun politics and work for the people.

The DP has been accused of going around the country campaigning for his 2022 presidential bid. He has dismissed the claim, but critics says he uses allies to drum up support for him during his rallies.

“The time for politics ended last year. It’s time for development and service delivery. This should be the agenda for every politician. Let those traversing the country talking 2022 campaigns focus on serving the people,” Ruto said.

However, the MPs who accompanied the DP said they will rally the community behind him in 2022.

“The DP has walked with us for long. We know what he has done to this community. He has been a good friend. That’s why we’ll stand with him,” Kuria East’s Marwa Kitayama said.

Kuria West lawmaker Mathias Robi said they will campaign for Ruto.

Separately in Rongo subcounty, during the campaign of ODM senator candidate Ochilo Ayacko, leaders urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure the tax is scrapped.

MPs John Mbadi (Suba South), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Pamela Odhiambo (Migori) and Anthony Oluoch (Mathare) said Parliament had rejected the increase.

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

Abuor urged Kenyans to make the right decisions during election so they have leaders who have their interests at heart. 

Read: High Court halts 16% VAT on fuel products

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