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Uhuru remains silent on contentious fuel tax in first public appearance

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday remained tight-lipped on the contentious fuel tax during his first public appearance.

This comes even as Kenyans speculate that the cost of fuel may go up again during the monthly review on Friday due to rising global crude oil prices.

The President, who made radical changes in the Kenya Police Service, did not utter a word on fuel prices. Uhuru addressed the National Policing Conference at the Kenya School of Government.

He unveiled new uniforms for police officers, saying that it will enhance visibility.

Officers wearing the uniforms paraded it by marching to the podium.

Details: Uhuru announces merger of police force, unveils new uniform

After finishing his address, Kenyans expected the President to at least touch on the 16 per cent VAT on fuel, but he did not.

Instead, Uhuru launched a framework for the service, leaving Kenyans on Twitter wondering.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta has avoided 16% VAT on fuel like a Plague. New ugly police uniform now to divert our attention,” user @MuneneWaNjeru said.

@Newroh1 said, ” How to be President; sneak back to the country at night, keep quiet for almost a week, show up at a police event in Kenya School of Government.”

Unveil a new uniform for policemen who live in iron sheet debes, say nothing about the economic crisis and fuel tax.”

@ZebedeeKibetChe said, ” GDP now has two meanings in this shithole country. Uhuru stop dressing Police and address the 16% VAT imposed on fuel.”

He added, “Police uniforms without pockets won’t prevent them from taking bribes yet they have multiple mobile money lines registered on different ID numbers.”

“Can someone tell me the meaning of visibility? Address issue which are more important like 16%VAT…ama iyo ndio wanaita legacy?” @niquemuthomi said.

@ItsJnShine said “Currently, Uhuru can give a six-hour speech but as long he doesn’t do away with the 16% VAT on petroleum products, he’s making noise. Kenyans are tired of fake promises.”

“These uniforms are first a misplaced priority, sasa badala ya kurudisha gharama ya maisha chini through VAT he is now diverting our minds…”@Charlogutu said.

@OmaribaKE said “President Uhuru Kenyatta has today announced reforms in the police sector, snubs the debate on 16% VAT on Petroleum products.”

But Treasury CS Henry Rotich said consultations on the fuel levy are at advanced stage and the outcome will be announced anytime.

The CS refused to give a specific time frame, but he was at State House on Wednesday to discuss with the President. 

There have been calls on Uhuru to sign the Finance Bill, 2018 which further suspends the 16 per cent VAT on fuel for another two years.

The Head of State is to receive the Finance Bill, and if he assents to it, the VAT will be suspended bringing down the cost of fuel.

Details: Uhuru ‘quietly’ returns, to receive brief on fuel tax outrage

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