Zero! Zero! Zero!

This was the chant in Parliament as lawmakers on Thursday shouted to shoot down proposals to reduce VAT on fuel to eight percent.

The proposal was presented to the House by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the wake of protests against the 16 per cent tax charge on fuel.

The MPs began shouting after Minority leader John Mbadi said he supported the proposal by the president in his reservations to the Finance Bill, 2018.

When you go down, you will find that excise tax has been removed…you now see why these MPs come here and they don’t know what they pass,” he said.

But as he continued talking, the House erupted in screams of Zero! Zero!, temporarily disrupting the day’s business. 

Assembly orderlies closed the door to prevent members from causing a quorum hitch.

The sitting was presided over by Narok woman representative Soipan Tuya.


Mbadi said “..they are shouting zero instead of debating.” His voice was drowned in the shouts of MPs opposed to the changes.

Ruaraka MP Tj Kajwang intercepted and temporarily managed to call the crowd to order by saying he is opposing the Bill as well.

“I rise to oppose this just before we vote… I want all members to know what they are voting for… the value added tax on section five it says that if we give 8 per cent in the next one week, the CS will increase it by 25 per cent,” he said.

The plenary chair ruled that the members take part in a vote by secret ballot.

When a commodity is zero-rated, manufacturers are allowed to claim credits for the value-added tax (VAT) paid on inputs.

Also read: MPs set stage for Sh37 billion budget cut

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