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Why Azimio MPs boycotted Budget reading

Members of Parliament affiliated to the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition boycotted the budget reading session on June 15, 2023.

The opposition MPs walked out of the National Assembly chambers as soon as Finance Cabinet Secretary Professor Njuguna Ndungu took the floor.

Speaking outside Parliament, the opposition MPs said their action was prompted by the budget itself, which they said did not address the concerns of ordinary citizens.

“Azimio does not believe in this government. We don’t think this is the budget for the Kenyan people, it’s a budget for the Kenya Kwanza government,” said Suna East MP Junet Mohamed.

The Minority Leader also said that they would not participate in the budget which is based on premises that do not reflect the state of the nation.

The opposition MPs also vowed to vote against the budget when it is presented to the National Assembly.

The opposition, led by its leader Raila Odinga, has been criticising President William Ruto’s administration since the last election.

On Wednesday, the opposition leader told his supporters that they will present the alternative budget after the Treasury CS reads the one for the government.

“In a nutshell, we believe this country needs and deserves a people’s budget. We repeat. We believe in a people’s budget. We believe in a rights-based budget. That budget is coming. Kenyans will have a People’s Budget” Mr Odinga said.

Mr Odinga also said that the opposition believes in a country that lives within its means so that it is not held hostage by countries that lend money to the country.

He also said that borrowing to spend is not a wise idea.

“What we have here is not a people’s budget. What we have here is a leaders’ budget.”

On Wednesday evening, during a heated debate on the Finance Bill 2023, more than 80 opposition MPs voted against it but that was not enough to overturn the majority votes from the Kenya Kwanza, which sailed the bill to the Third Reading stage.

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