National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has recalled MPs from their month-long recess for two special sittings next Tuesday and Thursday after President Uhuru Kenyatta rejected the Finance Bill 2018 with reservations.
In a Special Gazette Notice, Muturi recalled parliament for the two days where he is to notify MPs on the message from the President in respect to his reservations to the Finance Bill, 2018 pursuant to Article 115 of the Constitution and Supplementary Estimates, 2018.
Now that the President has sent it back to National Assembly, MPs will require two-thirds majority vote or 232 MPs to overturn the presidential veto. The Bill was passed 14 days ago by MPs after the Minority Chief Whip Junet Mohammed successfully moved an amendment meant to suspend 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products until September 2020 to cushion Kenyans from the high cost of living. However, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich affected the tax on September 1 leading to an increase in fuel prices.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to make public his reasons for rejecting the Bill when he addresses the nation today. VAT was first introduced on petrol, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel in the VAT Act of 2013, with a three-year grace period that would have seen it come into force in 2016 when it was once again deferred to September 2018