COTU moves to court over high fuel prices

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) has  gone ahead to sue the national government over the 16 percent value added tax on petroleum products  so as to avoid  increased cost of living.

The organisations’s Secretary-General Francis Atwoli said the case was filed on Monday by his lawyer Ekwe Ashiando, seeking to reverse the implementation of the tax.

The National Treasury, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Energy Regulatory Commission have been listed as respondents.

According to Atwoli, “Today, Cotu moved to court over the punitive increase of Value Added Tax on petroleum products. The high costs will cause many families to sleep hungry due to the rising cost of food.

He further added saying, “It will discourage people from travelling while the cost of medication and housing will be equally expensive. This is because everything that we do is dependent on the cost of fuel.”

He accused Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank of being determined to make the lives of Kenyans hard.

“But we know that any judge who understands the woes of Kenyans will stop this decision. We are in court to see that Kenyans are not mistreated in such a manner.”

Mr Atwoli and Kenya Agricultural and Plantation Workers’ Union Kericho chapter secretary Dickson Sang’ further called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene.

“We are asking Mr President, even if he is in China, to listen to the cries of Kenyans.

“The MPs have already sided with the citizenry by passing a law that seeks to stay the implementation of the price hike. President Kenyatta, please come to the aid of Kenyans,” Mr Atwoli said.

Mr Sang added that economic growth will be stifled as a result of the hike.

“We expect the cost of labour to skyrocket following the increase in fuel costs. We are asking President Kenyatta to have mercy on us and sign the bill to delay the implementation of the taxes,” he said.

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