Monday, May 29, 2023 –President William Ruto and activist-cum-Basia Senator Okiya Omtatah clashed in public over the raging Finance Bill 2023.
In a Sunday May 28 local event that was held in Busia County and attended by the head of State together with area governor Paul Otuoma, Senator Okiya Omtatah told Ruto, to his face, that he will fight him in court over the proposed Finance Bill.
Omtatah, who is a known public litigant, explained to Dr. Ruto why he thinks the proposed taxing in the new Bill was not right for the country.
The vocal senator added that he had taken his time to read through and analyse the contents in the document and came to a conclusion that it should be stopped this early.
The outspoken senator, who is no stranger in court rooms, told the president that the bill is not only bad for Kenyans but also unconstitutional.
“The Finance Bill has both good and bad things therein. Let not these people here lie to you that everything is fine. The negative things therein, many go against the Constitution.
“Let people not fool you here, let people not deceive you. There are issues in that Bill where even the Supreme Court has pronounced itself that ought to be honoured… You are my friend Mr President but the Constitution is a bigger friend to me,” he added.
Shortly after the meeting with the head of State, he sent a tweet confirming he has already prepared the petition to challenge the contentious clauses.
But in a quick response, President Ruto defended his proposal and urged ‘rich’ Kenyans to bear with him, saying the affordable housing project would be a game-changer for the poor.
“You rich people will have to bear with me on this one, let us deal with the hustlers so that they also have something of theirs and Kenya can be inclusive. I want you to help me talk to your senator, Mr Omtatah, please.
“You want to take me to court and all I’m doing is creating jobs for these people, don’t you want them to get jobs? Busia people, please talk to this man to go easy on the court matters,” Ruto added, also referring to Omtatah as his friend.
Analysts have criticised the government’s plan saying the proposed taxes on housing would be hard to implement given that the first one failed and also considering the hard economic times that Kenyans have been going through.