The National Assembly Speaker, Mr Moses Wetang’ula, has cautioned a section of the legislators against misleading members of the public on the proposed Finance Bill 2023.
Mr Wetang’ula told lawmakers that although it was right for them to debate the bill, even in their various political gatherings, they should do so with sobriety without distorting its contents.
The speaker made the remarks at Lwandeti DEB secondary school in Lugari constituency, where he led a host of Western region elected leaders, including Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa, in fundraising over Sh14 million for the completion of a multipurpose hall at the school.
Mr Wetang’ula was seemingly reacting to a section of Western leaders who have been openly opposing the bill that is yet to be tabled in the National Assembly.
He said that every other year, the Kenyan budget cycle is comprised of two bills: the Finance Bill (for ways and means) and the Appropriation Bill (for expenditure), which must be brought to the assembly.
“These parliamentarians know that when such a bill comes to parliament, each clause, including the title, is voted for individually. Your legislators are in committees. There is no reason for you to lament in public, yet you are the ones supposed to be removing the clauses you don’t like”, he said.
“It is your role as a Member of Parliament to go through the bill, and where you are not satisfied, you talk to your colleagues to rectify it,” added Mr Wetang’ula, while reminding members of the public that the content of the bill lies directly with their national assembly representatives.
On her part, Health Cabinet Secretary Ms Susan Nakhumicha defended the bill, saying it will play a critical role in reducing the high cost of health care in the country.
She said besides having a clause that reduces the monthly NHIF subscription from Sh500 to Sh300, there is also another one that reduces the buying price of products required for the manufacture of drugs and vaccines.
However, Members of Parliament present, including Nabii Nabwera (Lugari), Jack Wamboka (Bumula), and Senator Godfrey Osotsi (Vihiga), expressed their opposition to the bill, saying it required some amendments.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait