Opposition chief Raila Odinga has on Saturday hailed Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) MPs who toed the party line by supporting new tax measures.
The Finance Bill, 2018 contained the contentious proposal by President Uhuru Kenyatta to impose eight per cent value added tax on petroleum products.
In a statement released by his communications director Mr Dennis Onyango, Mr Odinga termed the move by ODM MPs as a “sign of loyalty to him and the party.”
“Raila Odinga wishes to thank all ODM members who observed the principle of party discipline and stood by the party and [National Super Alliance] Nasa’s resolutions to back the Finance bill in the National Assembly on Thursday,” the statement read.
It went on: “Mr Odinga believes party discipline, which enables the Parliamentary Group to support the policies and directions of the party is critical to strengthening the political party system in the country, delivery of the party’s agenda and aiding the process of democratisation.”
Mr Odinga observed that such display of loyalty by MPs is important in a bid to realise the agenda of the Building Bridges Initiative, which he started with President Kenyatta following their political truce, famously known as the handshake, in March this year. The initiative is meant to foster national unity and cohesion.
On Friday, Mr Odinga led the Building Bridges team to State House to brief Mr Kenyatta on the progress achieved so far.
“Mr Odinga believes that party discipline is going to play a critical role as Kenyans seek to actualise the dreams of the country’s rebirth and re-engineering as contained in the nine-point Building Bridges to the New Kenyan Nation MOU.”
He said backing the President’s proposal was in line with his ambition to seek long-lasting solutions to economic challenges bedevilling the country.