ODM Statement on 16% VAT on Fuel
On Thursday 6th September 2018, the High Court sitting in Bungoma granted temporary orders stopping the implementation of the new 16% Fuel Tax, a move that was welcomed by the long suffering Kenyan public.
Subsequent to that, it was reported that court process servers were having a difficult time serving the orders on the Energy Regulation Commission, the body charged with regulating prices in the sector, because their officers were either out of office all the time, or the institution was playing Cat and mouse games.
This would not raise the red flag if the Jubilee regime didn’t already have a disturbing history of disobeying court orders and treating them based on their “friendliness” or otherwise to regime needs.
A casual glance at that history will reveal the impunity of these actions, from court orders halting police recruitment a few years ago that were ignored, orders for the appearence of CS Matiangi and IG Boinett in court as well as the subsequent warrants for their arrest, and the now infamous multiple orders to restore Miguna Miguna’s passport and produce him in court.
Nothing in the conduct of the ERC offers any comfort that this is not the route the regime intends to take.
The government has leeched on poor Kenyans to the extent that they have nothing more to give. In this debt-laden, corruption ridden economy that holds little promise for the ordinary mwananchi, it is nothing but sheer insanity to now try to tax the citizens to their graves.
We would have thought that this would be the time to push through pro-poor policies that would lessen the burden on the proverbial tired donkey, but what do you know, they came for fuel, whose ripple effect is being felt in every corner of the nation. This is a burden the people cannot shoulder anymore.
It is worth reminding the government that when it chooses to over-borrow and over-spend, without due consideration for the suffering of the people and a shrinking economy, it should find other means to deal with its short sightedness, and allow the citizens to nurse their pain in peace.
We urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to remember his oath of office and ensure government institutions obey the orders granted by the High Court. We also urge the President to immediately sign into law the bill suspending the tax as passed by Parliament two weeks ago.
As leaders, it would be hypocritical to choose silence in the face of economic genocide, for tomorrow we may not find anyone to lead.