‘We deceived Kenyans during campaigns’ – embattled UDA Vice-chair Panyako
Embattled United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Vice Chairman Seth Panyako says the ruling party lied to Kenyans during the 2022 general election campaigns.
In an interview with Spice FM on Wednesday, May 31, Panyako said President William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza administration had failed to deliver on the promises made to Kenyans during the campaign period.
The vocal secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) faulted the government for its failure to lower the cost of living in the country eight months after the polls.
"When we campaigned in 2022, we rode on the issue of lowering the cost of living. One of the things we promised was to remove the 8 per cent VAT on petroleum products. Today we are telling people we are not going to lower, we are going to double it. We never told workers we are going to do affordable housing using their money," Panyako said.
"We deceived Kenyans. Politicians must stick to what they told the people. As Panyako I will not support (such)."
He termed the Kenya Kwanza administration's acts as political conmanship.
"They have no interest for the common man they have interest for themselves," he added.
Poking holes into the Finance Bill 2023, especially the controversial 3 per cent housing levy, Panyako said lack of consultation was the government's biggest undoing.
"What we promised people is now upside down. People have gotten to office and they no longer consult. As a member of the National Executive Council of UDA, I believe the policy of government like the budget government should have brought those proposals to the party and discuss with the National Executive Council let us see what you want to do then we agree with it so that when I leave there as a member of NEC I'm able to defend what is being presented to parliament or to the government for approval. But this is a situation where people seat and make decisions and they expect you to support them," he added.
He attributed his unceremonious exit from the ruling party to his divergent views from what the President wants him to preach.
Panyako said before the election, he was a close ally of President Ruto.
However, after the elections, Panyako says he has not spoken to the President and the call asking him to resign was the first one since the 2022 August polls.
"He was calling to ask me to leave his party because I do not agree with programmes of the government. I don't think the President has time for any divergent views. I don't think he listens to anybody. I think he listens to himself," Panyako said.
Panyako also claims that there are around six people from one ethnic community surrounding the President, who are calling the shots on all government affairs.
"There are about six guys from one ethnic community around the President who are pulling strings in government. They want to manage each and everything. They even want to know which cleaner is being employed from where. They want to have a hand on everything," he said.
According to Panyako, when the LapFund chief executive officer David Koros resigned, the board appointed Galm Jaldesa before the annual general meeting. However, the six intervened forcing the board to appoint a new CEO.
"The chairperson of our board received threats, I was there when he got the calls and we had to reverse our decision on appointing the CEO," he said adding that the chairman later resigned due to threats.
Panyako now says that LapFund’s board cannot meet because they lack a CEO and a chairperson.