Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino has explained why he was absent in Parliament on Wednesday, June 14 during the voting on the proposed Finance Bill, 2023.
Babu through a video he shared on his social media accounts revealed that he was preparing for his court case.
“I was not present today (Wednesday) in Parliament because my case has been scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) in court for defense hearing and I was with my lawyer,” he said.
The Embakasi legislator, noted that he had been in Parliament in the morning and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula had said voting will take place next week.
I was not present today in Parliament because my case has been scheduled for tomorrow in Court for defense hearing and was with my Lawyer.I can’t support an oppressive bill,a bill that will kill Kenyans. pic.twitter.com/6FhMUGvi2r
— Babu Owino (@HEBabuOwino) June 14, 2023
He added that he consulted with Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi before leaving disclosing that he had to prepare for his court case.
“It was only much later when I realized that the Speaker changed his mind and voting was to take place today. That is why even other MPs were not present because the Speaker changed from what he had earlier communicated. Many members were missing because they knew voting was next week,” Babu explained.
Moreover, Babu Owino noted that he is against the Finance Bill and cannot support it even if his party leader Raila Odinga asked him to.
“This bill is one which is punishing Kenyans and I cannot support it. Even If baba told me to support it, I wouldn’t because of my loyalty to Kenyans. So, I’m so sorry I wasn’t present because of my court situation,” he added.
Furthermore, the Embakasi MP noted that there is still hope as the bill goes through to the third stage where voting will take place for each clause.
“Fellow Kenyans,the main, most important, more significant and crucial stage of a bill like the Finance Bill is the 3rd reading stage where voting will take place for each clause. This will be next week. Bado kuna hope.” Babu stated.
Nonetheless, Members of Parliament voted in favor of the Finance Bill 2023, paving the way for its determination by the committee of the whole House.
176 MPs voted for the bill at the second reading stage whereas 81 MPs out of 257 opposed it.
The Committee is set to consider the Finance Bill clause by clause and take a vote on each of the clauses.