Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga sent out an appeal to the country deviating from the perception that he had abandoned defending the rights of common Mwananchi.
The ODM party leader while at a function in Kisumu maintained that his actions were in the interest of Kenyans even as he works closely with President Kenyatta.
He stated that he had no option but to support the president’s proposal on the new taxes saying the Head of State was in a fix that only needed the opposition’s back up.
“I have been at the forefront in advocating for the rights of Kenyans, and so I would not agree to something I know would burden the people,” he told his supporters in Kisumu on Monday.
The former PM held that he was carrying the country’s interests at heart when he declared his support for the 8% Value Added Tax (V.A.T) on petroleum products.
He recalled having numerously warned the Jubilee administration against uncontrolled borrowing blaming the bloated public debt on the government’s inability to heed his advice.
“I warned them several times by they said I was lying and told me to go back to the village and dig. I told them that if they took too many loans without proper investments then it would come back to burden them,” recalled Mr Odinga.
He went on to reveal that he ensured that he did not fully endorse the president’s memorandum on the Finance Bill 2018, but had to do so under conditions that the country reconsiders expenditures.
“We decided to support the VAT on the condition that such budgets as for leaders going to watch football in Russia, traveling First/Business Class and going for benchmarking and bonding trips in Arusha must be cut down,” divulged the ODM leader during the launch of the Unitas Kisumu offices on Monday.
Several members and elected leaders in the ODM party including Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Ruaraka MP T J Kajwang’ and Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris have all taken a divergent view on the new taxes backed by Mr Odinga.
The party is set to hold a meeting at Orange House on Tuesday and it is anticipated to discuss the differences arising from the party leader’s position on the fuel taxes.