The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Muhuri Raises Red Flag On Finance Bill

Muslim for Human Rights lobby group will hold stakeholders forums in the six counties of Coast to do training on formation of finance bills.Peter Shambi, a Muhuri official, said Taita Taveta and Kwale counties had erred in drafting and enacting their finance bills.

"Currently, the six counties have initiated debates with an aim of passing the bills. Residents are however very concerned on how the entire process has been handled by their county governments.The public has not been given an opportunity to contribute," Shambi said.

Speaking during a civil society organisations forum at Mwatate on Saturday, he said he fears that the county governments could be having a hidden agenda. "That is why they have deliberately ignored public participation," Shambi said.

He accused the county governments of introducing high levies on essential services and goods like healthcare, agriculture inputs, business licences, burial fees and livestock management among others.

He said the forum will bring together 50 participants drawn from county executive members, county assembly finance committees, representative of the civil society and the public. "We shall work with all the stakeholders to build their capacity and also iron out the contentious issues in the finance bills," he said.He said the organization will provoke public debate of the bills through media campaign.

During the meeting, the members observed that the finance bill in Taita Taveta was hurriedly done. "This bill is a mere concept note. The bill was huriedly done without considering critical issues.

The bill does not even have a preamble and a definition of terms. Many terms used in the bill are ambiguous which can be used as loopholes to commit crimes," said Paul Oling'a a Mwatate activist.

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