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Suspension of foreign trips & other directives given to Azimio MPs as Finance Bill 2024 battle shapes up

Azimio leaders say Sh1 trillion budgeted for corruption and termed the Finance Bill 2024 “A Corruption Budget”

Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka and other Azimio leaders addressing the press on President William Ruto's performance

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party has issued several directives to its lawmakers, including suspending all foreign trips by its lawmakers ahead of the debate and voting on the contentious Finance Bill 2024 that has largely been opposed by Kenyans.

The opposition party noted that the suspension of foreign trips comes into effect this weekend in its bid to ensure that the resounding voice of Kenyans opposed to the bill is heard loud and clear in parliament with an aim of shooting down the bill.

Azimio principal Kalonzo Musyoka dismissed the budget statement read by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u, noting that it goes against public good and will increase the tax burden to Citizens who are barely surviving.

He also sought the intervention of the international community and the civil society, stating that now is the time for the true friend s of Kenya to speak up and join citizens in rejecting the bill that he maintained would adversely hurt citizens.

“We urge the international community, civil society organisations and concerned citizens to stand in solidarity with Kenyans in condemning the Kenya Kwanza regime’s blatant disregard for the public good.

"We therefore reaffirm our stand that all Kenyans must oppose the Finance Bill 2024 and have instructed all our parliamentary members to lead from the foot in rejecting this punitive bill in its totality." Kalonzo stated.

All opposition MPs are also expected to be present in parliament and to oppose the bill as directed by the party and in respecting the wishes of Kenyans who have explicitly made their opposition to the bill clear.

"All members of the National Assembly are to suspend any planned trips or any activities which would see them out of Nairobi for the duration of the consideration of the Finance Bill 2024, from the date of tabling on Tuesday next week until a vote is taken," ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, revealing that the party has already dispatched letters to its legislators requiring them to be present in parliament the whole week.

"We are asking our MPs and also the 179 MPs in Kenya Kwanza to know that sera mbaya, maisha mbaya. They should all reject the Finance Bill because it will hurt all the people regardless of whether they are in Azimio or Kenya Kwanza," added DAP-K party leader Eugene Wamalwa.

According to Sifuna, lawmakers who fail to comply with the directives as well as those who defy the stand taken by the opposition will face action.

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua also weighed in on the bill, noting that it will bring more pain to Kenyans, with Kalonzo stating that the bill in question has a whooping Sh1 trillion budgeted for corruption.

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