Lawmakers tell off Raila over Fund payments
Youthful lawmakers from the President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) yesterday told off Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga following his calls to Kenyans to reject the Hustler Fund and not to repay the already borrowed loans from the platform.
Six UDA MPs told Kenyans to ignore Raila and instead continue borrowing and repaying their loans in order to grow their credit worthiness.
Addressing a news conference in parliament yesterday, the leaders claimed that Raila wants Kenyans to continue being poor for his own political expediency.
The lawmakers who included Samson Cheragei (Nandi Senator) and Eric Wamumbi (Mathira), Reuben Kiborek (Mogotio), Julius Ruto (Kesses), Geofrey Wandeto (Tetu), Gideon Kosgei (Keiyo South) said it is ridiculous that Raila can object to such an initiative whose aim is to uplift Kenyans lives.
Said Cherargei: “I am sure that the reason why Azimio is objecting to this fund is because they are shocked that the president is fulfilling his campaign promises. These people are in denial because they can also see that the president who has so far held more than 500 meetings in and out of the country is working hard to help grow the economy of this country which is at its worst.”
He added: “All Kenyans should ignore Raila, this Hustler Fund is very important. Please keep borrowing and repaying so that you can grow your credit worthiness.”
Their sentiments came just a day after Raila on Wednesdays spearheaded calls for the rejection of the Fund, asking Kenyans who have already borrowed not to repay the loans on grounds that the fund lacks legal backing.
At the Kamukunji Raila, accompanied by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Narc Kenya counterpart, Martha Karua, said loans being disbursed to Kenyans under the Hustler Fund are inadequate to support any meaningful business venture to enable borrowers repay within 14 days.
“We had promised Kenyan households who are at the lower cadre that we were to disburse Sh6, 000 per month. In the Hustler Fund, you are given Sh500 to start a business. Is it really adequate to start any meaningful business?” asked Raila.
Various leaders who attended the rally – the first in a series planned to raise awareness about perceived shortcomings of the Kenya Kwanza government, demanded that the fund be anchored in law first and that the government stops threatening defaulters with unspecified penalties.
Kalonzo also weighed in yesterday, saying that the money allocated for the loan had not been appropriated by Parliament, and, therefore, nobody should be penalised for failing to refund any amount borrowed.
But yesterday in parliament the leaders claimed that the rejection of the fund is because Raila wants to push for a handshake with Ruto like he did with former President Uhuru Kenyatta through the back door.
Wamumbi claimed that Raila for the last 40 years he has been in politics, he has failed to introduce policies that impact greatly on Kenyans lives
He claimed that the narrative that parliament had not made its input on the fund is not true as the regulations governing the fund were tabled and passed by MPs adding that the arguments that Ruto’s government is utilising the fund without authorisations from the MPs is equally untrue as article 251 allows the government to spend monies and later seek regularisation from parliament.
According to him, the hustlers fund is well structured in law and only what Raila is engaging in is threats so that Kenyans can fear borrowing.
“We are telling Kenyans , don’t listen to Raila Odinga, he has already done his job and made his money, he is currently in business , he has already grown, in fact he is in the gas business. Therefore please continue borrowing and repaying your loan so that you can increase your credit worthiness,” he said.
He added: “Kenyans please don’t listen to these mzee, he is mad and sick, continue borrowing, do your business, continue borrowing so that your credit worthiness grows. We know that all he wants is a handshake but we want to tell him that this will not happen at all.”
Ruto said he is surprised that Raila at his age can oppose such an initiative which has in the recent days seen millions of Kenyans borrowing money without going through tedious processes.
“Raila should respect his age. The man has already demonstrated nepotism by employing his people in parliament and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and should thus allow Kenyans who don’t have God fathers to also benefit,” said Ruto.
Wandeto said that despite Raila packaging himself as pro-poor, he has never been one as his aim is always to take advantage of Kenyans.
Wandeto said that Raila needs to be called out so that he can stop lying to Kenyans.
“For a man who has been in politics for more than 40 years and has packaged himself as pro poor , it is funny that when a solution to help Kenyans has been found, then he becomes a saboteur it is wrong. For this we are telling Raila please be with Kenyans,” he said.
Koborek said that going by Raaila’s remarks, it means he has been enjoying when Kenyans are suffering and that is why he is opposed to the fund.
“Raila Odinga it is irresponsible for you to ask Kenyans not to take care of their financial management yet you have taken care of yours. I am sure you are doing this for your own political expediency,” said Kiborek.