- Raila said he is not the one hard hit by the additional taxes the correct regime has imposed on some items.
- The opposition chief faulted the current regime for personifying his criticisms of issues of national concerns to confuse the masses.
Azimio la Umoja Coalition leader Raila Odinga has defended his criticism of the Kenya Kwanza regime saying he is not pushing for his selfish interests but that of Kenyans.
In a statement detailing major issues he has raised concerns over, a majority that is in the Finance Bill 2023, Raila said he is not the one hard hit by the additional taxes the current regime intends to impose on some items.
The opposition chief faulted the current regime for personifying his criticisms of issues of national concerns to confuse the masses.
"The issues I have been canvassing alongside all Azimio Party leaders are not about me or any of my co-principals," Raila said,
Among the issues Raila has been vocal about are the instability of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the additional taxes President William Ruto wants to leverage to turn around the economy.
Raila said the instability of the IEBC presents a danger to the current and future stability of the nation and the growth of democracy.
He said a situation where all IEBC commissioners are required to agree with whatever the chairman says or does is a serious danger to future elections.
"In leading the calls for a transparent and inclusive reform to the IEBC, I am acting for posterity, in the best interest of the nation," he said.
On claims the government has been making tribal appointments, Raila said he is speaking for those families in Kenya where children or parents are failing to get jobs because they are from the 'wrong tribe'.
He said even the 3 percent Housing Fund levy will not affect him nor his fellow Azimio leaders as they are all not employed.
"The Housing levy that now seems to be non-negotiable does not affect Raila Odinga or my co-leaders at the personal level. All of us are unemployed and do not have salaries to be deducted for housing levy."
"We are fighting for those Kenyans whose salaries have continued to shrink because of taxes, loans and statutory deductions," he said.
Raila said he can survive with the high cost of living but he knows many Kenyans cannot.
He said the high prices, coupled with poverty and a government that does not care, is a toxic mix waiting to explode.
On his call for respect of political parties, Raila said he is not doing it for himself as democracy is at stake if the state goes back to single-party rule.
"I earn no per diem like government officials do. I am voicing concerns on behalf of lowly paid civil servants whose per diems will be subjected to 30 per cent tax deduction with consequent low work morale."
Additionally, the ODM party leader said he does not need beauty products, and neither do his co-principals.
"I recognize the beauty industry as a source of employment for millions of youth, hence my opposition to the 16 per cent tax hike on these products," he said.
He gave Kenya Kwanza two options to either face and listen to Kenyans, or ignore them and face a battle never seen before in this country.