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Azimio questions gov't oil deal with Saudi Arabia, presents 9 demands to Ruto

Azimio leader Raila Odinga said that the portrayal of the deal as government-to-government was meant to shield three Kenyan companies from paying corporate tax.

Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga addressing the media at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation offices

Azimio One Kenya Coalition, led by Raila Odinga, has raised concerns about the government's engagement with oil companies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

During a press conference on Thursday, November 16, Odinga, accompanied by other Azimio leaders, asserted that the government did not enter into any direct deals with the Gulf nations, contrary to its statement in April.

Instead, Raila stated that the government entered agreements with the Energy Ministry and state-owned companies in the Gulf nations.

He emphasised that the Kenya Kwanza government falsely portrayed the transaction as a government-to-government deal to exempt three Kenyan companies from paying a 30% corporate tax.

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"There was no G-to-G. Kenya did not sign any contracts with Saudi Arabia or the UAE. Only the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum signed a deal with state-owned petroleum companies in the Middle East," he clarified to the media.

Raila further highlighted that despite the government's assurance that the deal would alleviate the cost of living for Kenyans, citizens continue to bear the burden while the shilling remains weak against the dollar.

Additionally, Odinga questioned the selection process of Gulf Energy, Galana Oil Kenya Ltd, and Oryx Energies Kenya Limited as local logistics handlers, accusing these handpicked distributors of selling oil at nearly twice the price of bulk suppliers.

The Azimio chief has issued 9 demands to President William Ruto concerning oil importation in the country:

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  1. Cancel the government-to-government contract and revert to the open tender system for its efficiency, accountability, competitiveness, and pricing based on an international model.
  2. Direct the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate Kenya's involvement in the alleged oil deal with Saudi Arabia and identify the beneficiaries.
  3. Charge and dismiss officials involved in the deal with Gulf oil marketing companies.
  4. Restore the value-added tax to 8% from the 16% implemented by the Finance Act.
  5. Make public the Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  6. Instruct the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to disclose the details of the deal signed with oil companies.
  7. Make public the supplier purchase agreement signed with oil companies.
  8. Direct the EACC and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate tax compliance and pricing models for the three oil companies.
  9. Provide a comprehensive briefing on the implications of Uganda's decision to source much of its petroleum needs through the Tanzanian Central Corridor, particularly for the future of the Kenya Pipeline Company.

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