The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) wing of the coalition government may reject this year’s budget, if it fell short of cushioning the consumers from rising prices of basic commodities.
Two cabinet Ministers told a charged rally at Kibera’s Kamkunji grounds that they will disrupt the presentation of the budget speech unless the plight of the suffering Kenyans was factored.
Speakers at a rally also attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga vowed to oppose the document arguing that its presentation contravened the spirit of the new constitution.
They accused Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta of failing to table the preliminary estimates earlier enough for perusal and possible amendments as demanded under the new laws.
Lands Minister James Orengo declared his resolve to break ranks with cabinet colleagues and join the backbenchers to block the tabling of the budget on the floor of the house irrespective of his cabinet portfolio.
“I want the Prime Minister on whose behest I serve this government to allow me to be independent Tuesday to join likeminded backbenchers to shoot down the budget speech because matters of food are paramount,” he said.
Orengo also insisted on the establishment of an independent commission to vet both the police and the Public Service Commission to enable the two bodies acquire legitimacy to undertake similar task.
Regional development Minister Fred Gumo said the Treasury was taking the interest of the common man for granted even after Premier who pensively followed the proceedings ordered a waiver on tax to cut costs of basic commodities.
He regretted that the leadership at treasury had to the contrary pushed fuel prices higher in total disregard of the premier’s call arguing that the coalition partners were pulling on opposite directions over the issue.
“You cannot expect the price of unga (maize floor) to go down yet the cost of petrol is directly reflected on the prices of all basic commodities,” Gumo said.
He wondered why local fuel prices remained relatively higher compared to the case in other landlocked countries, which used Kenyan soil as their transit route for their imports.
Assistant minister Bishop Margaret Wanjiru echoed similar sentiments but urged the ODM supporters not to waiver in their quest to place credible leadership during the coming general polls.
Nominated MP Rachael Shebesh however tore into Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka over the recent remarks to the effect that Nyanza resident were allegedly held hostage politically.
She asked Kalonzo to sort out problems afflicting communities in his Eastern Province and bail them out of a circle of poverty and hunger before seeking the presidency.
Other speakers included Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa and Civic leaders from Lang’ata constituency.