Nairobi News

HustleMust ReadNews

Babu Owino: Why I missed Finance Bill vote

Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino has stated why he skipped the debate and voting on the Finance Bill 2023 on Wednesday evening in the National Assembly.

The Bill, which had been strongly opposed by the Opposition, sailed through the second reading after 176 MPs voted in favour of the Bill and 81 members against it.

Mr Owino, who is a member of the ODM party, an affiliate of the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition, said he arrived at the National Assembly on Wednesday morning, but things later changed.

“Many of the members knew that voting will take place after Tuesday next week. That is why so many members from Azimio were missing. I want to tell you that this Finance Bill is retrogressive and it’s a bill that I cannot support,” the MP said, adding that he is still against the Bill.

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

Mr Owino is amongst 11 opposition leaders who skipped the important debate just hours after his party leader Raila Odinga rubbished the Finance Bill saying it is only aimed at exploiting Kenyans.

The other opposition MPs who skipped the debate include Tindi Mwale (Butere – ODM), Joseph Oyula (Butula – ODM), Farah Maalim (Dadaab – Wiper), Wilberforce Oundo (Funyula – ODM) and Hirbae Said (Galole – ODM).

Others are Titus Khamala (Lurambi MP – ODM), Peter Nabulindo (Matungu – ODM), Stephen Mule Mutinda (Matungulu – Wiper), Patrick Makau (Mavoko – Wiper) and Mr Peter Salasya (Mumias East – DAP-K).

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

Earlier in the day, Azimio’s top leadership had urged the Kenya Kwanza Members to join them in voting against the Bill.

Deputy ODM party leader, Mr Wycliffe Oparanya, termed the Bill was punitive and a threat to Kenyans.

“We know that the Kenya Kwanza MPs the bill is wrong. All we can urge you is to join your Azimio counterparts and stand with Kenyans,” Oparanya said.

“We believe this country needs and deserves a people’s budget. We believe in a rights based budget. That budget is coming, Kenyans will have a people’s budget,” he added.

Immediately after Wednesday’s vote, Azimio la Umoja said that they are looking forward to moving to court to challenge it the Bill.

Also read: Wa Muchomba – I’ll oppose Finance Bill to the bitter, even if it means losing my seat