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

Githunguri MP Gathoni wa Muchomba on Wednesday dared President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua to kick her out of the United Democratic Alliance for opposing the Finance Bill 2023.

“Some are peddling rumours 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,” she told Inooro FM.

“They are now discussing me in State House. I was not invited to the House Committee meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Finance Bill 2023 because of my stated position against it. They took the approved proposals at night because they are all aware that they are wrong,” she said in the live interview.

She added that the government’s resentment against her was so great that “they are planning violence against me at public events in my constituency … This is cheap and I repeat that I am prepared to lose my seat for standing up for the truth”.

She said her position would not change and that she would oppose the Bill to the bitter end.

Also read: ‘Azimio MPs will support Finance Bill’

“Let the truth be told … The people I represent have told me point-blank that their priority is not the houses proposed in the Bill,” she said.

She added that she felt strongly that the proposed 1.5 per cent housing levy was just a ploy to tax Kenyans on behalf of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The President is pushing this housing levy to raise money to pay IMF loans. After taxing workers and their employers, they will build a few houses to blind Kenyans,” she said.

She said she wrote a letter to the parliamentary Committee on the Legal and Financial Framework of the Housing Plan opposing the housing levy, but has been ignored.

“I have been vindicated … I have said all along that this housing levy is a tax and not a fund. It is high time the President came out and told Kenyans the truth,” she said.

Ms Wa Muchomba commented on the President’s speech in Kirinyaga County on Tuesday.

Also read: UDA MP Owen Baya warns Azimio not to disrupt Parliament when Finance Bill is debated

“The President is going against what he read in Isaiah 10:5 about the evil of oppressing the poor. But his proposals are oppressive. He should tax those who have high salaries and incomes, but for example, abolish sales tax, which oppresses the poor,” she said.

She said the Finance Bill, even after the second reading amendments, was so oppressive to business that it risked driving investors out of the country for more favourable tax regimes offered by neighbouring countries.

“My stand is the removal of the proposed turnover tax since it indiscriminately targets all entrepreneurs without considering their positive or negative performances.

“When I go to Parliament, I will oppose the turnover tax, the housing levy and the tax on matatus. This is because most matatu owners are our people … It is punitive. It punishes them and cripples them economically,” she said.

Also read: Mudavadi challenges critics of Finance Bill to provide better alternative

The former radio presenter added that the business community is largely made up of people from the Mt Kenya region, “so it is illogical to expect me to be the one sanctioning their oppression”.

“There are people in this government who have ganged up to ensure that they disenfranchise the Mt Kenya region politically and economically … This is the only region where people are being encouraged to fight among themselves,” she said.

She added that the cost of the dollar against the Kenyan shilling will continue to rise if the proposed Bill goes through.

She advised President Ruto: “We love the Bible … It also sensitises us that any king who does not listen to his people will never succeed.”

The MP said she might be punished for her ‘rebellion for a good cause’, but once the full effects of the Bill are felt — with the skyrocketing cost of living for almost all basic commodities — “I will be remembered as one who stood up for the common good.”