Nairobi News


Babu Owino: I would not support Finance Bill 2023, even if Baba asked me to

Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili Owino aka Babu Owino has said he would not support Finance Bill 2023, even if his party leader, Mr Raila Odinga, was proposing its passage.

The ODM legislator, who skipped the debate and voting on the Bill on Wednesday evening in the National Assembly, termed the Bill as retrogressive.

The MP made the remarks in a video while also stating that he will uphold his position on the matter.

“This Finance Bill is retrogressive. It is a Bill that is punishing Kenyans. I can’t support myself. It is a bill that even Baba himself could have told me to support, I would not because of my loyalty to my people,” he said.

Also read: Babu Owino – Why I missed Finance Bill vote

The Bill was submitted to the Speaker of National Assembly Moses Wetang’ula on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 night and later tabled to the House for debate.

The Bill proposes an increase of VAT on basic commodities, such as fuel from the current 8 per cent to 16 a move that is expected to further rise the cost of living in the country.

Prior to the debate in Parliament, ODM leader, Mr Odinga had led his allies in Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition in strongly opposing the Bill.

However, on Wednesday evening the Bill sailed through the second reading after 176 MPs voted in favour of the Bill and 81 members against it.

Also read: Mutahi Ngunyi to Raila – Defeat of Azimio in Finance Bill vote is a big shame

During the voting, several Azimio-allied lawmakers, Mr Owino included, were not in Parliament.

The MP has since explained his absence by stating that the Speaker had initially indicated that the voting exercise was to take place next week.

“Many of the members knew that voting will take place after Tuesday next week. That is why so many members from Azimio were missing,” he said.

Mr Owino also said he was not in Parliament since he had a date with his lawyer preparing for a case set for defense hearing on Thursday. He said he had informed the Speaker and the Minority Leader, Mr Opiyo Wandayi, of the same.

Also read: Full list of Raila lieutenants who skipped vote on Finance Bill 2023