Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday defied parliament by rejecting a finance bill that sought to postpone a widely unpopular tax on fuel that has triggered strikes and public anger.
Parliament will hold a special sitting on the bill on Sept.18 to reconsider the finance bill “together with the reservations of the president,” said the gazette notice signed by Justin Muturi, the speaker of the national assembly.
It did not say why the president rejected the bill as passed by parliament in late August. Kenyatta’s acting spokesperson, Kanze Dena, told Reuters the president would address the countryon the matter on Friday.
His government faced a strike by some fuel dealers, angeramong commuters and a lawsuit after it triggered a hike intransport and fuel prices by imposing the 16 percent value addedtax on all petroleum products on Sept. 1.
The finance bill that was returned to parliament had alsoretained a cap on commercial lending rates, after lawmakersamended a move by the finance minister to repeal it.