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The great Azimio and UDA showdown

Possibility of an Azimio and UDA showdown after the Azimio Parliamentary Group meeting held yesterday. The Azimio group had issued an ultimatum to the Kenya Kwanza government to meet their demands by midnight yesterday which has lapsed.

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The demand from the Azimio One Kenya Coalition is that the Kenya Kwanza government takes first action to lower the cost of living for Kenyans. In the meeting, they claim that the finance bill does the opposite of reducing Kenyans’ cost of living as they have more taxes and laws to pay for leaving them with less money to fend for themselves.

Azimio and UDA showdown after ultimatum issued
Raila Convenes Azimio’s Parliamentary Group meeting. PHOTO/Credits

Other demands are the suspension of the IEBC selection panel, the preservation of electoral agency servers and the cessation of Kenya Kwanza’s invasion of political parties allied to Azimio. This comes after the alleged intervention with Jubilee Party that threatened Uhuru’s place in the party.

At the Parliamentary Group meeting, Azimio came up with new demands that they brought forth to the UDA government. They want an immediate withdrawal of the Finance Bill 2023 claiming that it is anti-people. They also want the coalition to agree to by-elections of Azimio MPs who have shifted their allegiance from Kenya Kwanza. If the government fails to heed these measures, Azimio threatens a continued suspension of the bipartisan talks.

“Replace the Finance Bill 2023 with one that recognizes the suffering Kenyan people are going through,” said Wadanyi after the Parliamentary Group meeting.

The Azimio MPs pledged to sign a public pledge to oppose the finance bill if it won’t be withdrawn by the Kenya Kwanza government. Argued that Kenyans are struggling with unga, fuel, sugar, fees and electricity among others. Adding tax rates on them would make it worse.

Azimio and UDA struggle on Finance Bill

Here are other provisions from the finance bill aside from the 3% housing levy; 16% VAT on fuel price, 3% turnover tax on hustler businesses, and 16%VAT on insurance compensation. Moreover, content creators and social media platforms pay a 15% withholding tax, a 20% excise duty on loans from digital lenders, and a 10% excise duty on imported cellular phones. In addition to all that, parents now have an added tax of 16% VAT on baby formula. Chamas will now be considered businesses, so they will pay an income tax, a 15% excise duty on mobile money transactions. They, however, have scrapped the 16% VAT on choppers and aircraft.

In response to the Azimio demands, The Kenya Kwanza team have agreed to a few demands. Have offered that the joint co-chairs write to the IEBC selection panel. They will have them hold the selection for 21-30 days and preserve the servers. They offered to co-author a letter for the purpose of server preservation.

Aside from that, Kenya Kwanza has agreed to the ruling made by Political Parties Tribunal on the Jubilee leadership. This ruling declared that the leaders that were dismissed be reinstated into office.

The Kenya Kwanza Government has shown that they are willing to resume the bipartisan talks but are unwilling to withdraw the Finance Bill 2023.

Read Also: Azimio Calls off Protests

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