Inside Politics

Senator Omtatah claims he’s been offered Ksh200M to drop Finance Act petition

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 16:45 | By
Senator Omtatah claims he's been offered Ksh200M to drop Finance Act petition
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah during a past press conference. PHOTO/(@OkiyaOmtatah)/X

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah now claims he has been offered up to Ksh200 million to withdraw his petition against the Finance Act 2023.

Omtatah made the revelations on Tuesday during the People's Anti-Corruption Summit held at Ufungamano House in Nairobi.

The renowned human rights activist, however, disclosed that he turned down the offers, saying he won't entertain any attempts to compromise the justice system.

"We have to ensure that we abide by the law. They believe everyone has a price. Right now if you look at the money I have been offered to withdraw the petition (it) has reached Ksh200 million. But I tell them, my price is one, if you can't govern vacate the office for those who can govern," Omtatah revealed.

"My efforts to continue fighting and standing for what I believe is right is not going to be deterred."

He also confessed to receiving death threats from unknown persons keen to have similar cases dropped.

"Sometimes we get anonymous calls with people saying bullets are not over in Kenya but those are threats and unnecessary temptations," he added.

"We must overcome it. We do not have another country other than this one where you can be a citizen so let us not lose it."

The High Court slammed breaks on the implementation of the newly signed law that was set to double fuel tax and introduce new taxes on June 30, following a petition filed by Omtatah and four other activists.

The court declined to lift the conservatory orders yesterday. Justice Mugure Thande ruled that the petitioners had raised substantial issues and ordered that the file be sent to Chief Justice Martha Koome who is expected to set up a three-judge bench to hear the matter.

Omtatah's petition

In the case before the High Court, Omtatah and his co-petitioners Eliud Matindi, Micheal Kojo, Benson Otieno and Blair Oigoro argue that the Finance Act 2023 is illegal as it was approved by the National Assembly without the consultation of the Senate.

"The National Assembly sneaked many provisions of the law into the approved Bill on the floor of the House without subjecting them to public participation, which violated Articles 10[2], 118 and 201 of the Constitution," the activist state, adding that new tax laws are punitive.

Some of the amendments passed by the National Assembly include the 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products and 1.5 house levy, which received wide condemnation from the opposition.

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