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Didimus Barasa hits out at Government officials for being ‘drunk with power’

United Democratic Alliance’s Kimilili Member of the National Assembly, Honorable Didmus Barasa, opposed the new government-approved hiked fees on several services offered by Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki’s Ministry of Interior and National Administration.

In particular, Barasa opposed the hiked charges that Kenyans will now have to pay to register marriage certificates.

“This is retrogressive, to say the least, people get dishonest in the presence of power and money. These characters seem power drunk, eating taxes with a big spoon, wearing the most expensive designer shoes, and vomiting remnants on Kenyans who walk bare feet! Things are taking a wrong trajectory, I’m raising my voice! Wananchi are suffering! The Government must listen! A marriage certificate for example has cruised from 30k to 100k! Are we for real? Why oppress citizens?” asked Hon Barasa on November 8, 2023.

In a Gazette Notice issued on November 7, 2023, the Interior Ministry announced the hike in fees, some as much as five times the original amount, in a bid to raise government revenue to fund development projects and pay off international loans.

In addition to the marriage certificate registration fees hike, Kenyans will now have to dig deeper into their pockets to acquire passports and personal identification cards.

The new passport fees are Sh 15,000 for a diplomatic one, up from Sh 7,500 while a 34-page ordinary passport will now cost Sh 7,500 up from Sh 4,500. The 50-page passport will now cost Sh 9,500 up from Sh 6,000 while the 66-page passport will now cost Sh12,500 up from Sh 7,500.

For the identification cards, a non-registered person will pay Sh 1,000 from the initial free registration. To get a replacement, a cardholder will now part with Sh 2,000 up from Sh 100 while changing any particulars on the card will now cost Sh 1,000. Identification reports will now cost Sh 1,000 up from Sh 300 while civil servants’ cards will now cost Sh 1,000 up from Sh 100.

Honorable Barasa is the second Kenya Kwanza and President William Ruto ally who is complaining about the heavy taxation on Kenyans by the government of the day. President Ruto has been on a spree of taxing Kenyans by either increasing the existing taxes or introducing new ones. So far, he has hiked the cost of fuel, electricity, food, beauty products, motor vehicles, and mobile devices among others.

Githunguri Member of Parliament, Gathoni Wa Muchomba, swore she was ready to lose her seat as she opposed Ruto’s heavy taxation on Kenyans.

“Some people are peddling rumors that I am a mole of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party. I am not. I’m simply on the side of truth. But whatever this involvement brings, I’m ready for any eventuality. Whether they remove me from the party and send me to a by-election, I am ready.

They are now discussing me in the State House. I was not invited to the House Committee meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Finance Bill 2023 (now an Act) because of my stated position against it. They took the approved proposals at night because they were all aware that they were wrong,” said Wa Muchomba.

She opposed the housing levy imposed on Kenyans “on behalf of the International Monetary Fund”, claiming few houses would be built to blind Kenyans. She also called out President Ruto for oppressing the poor instead of taxing those who have higher salaries and income.

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