Ruto says all Kenyans must pay taxes to clear Sh10t debt

Monday, September 12th, 2022 05:10 | By
Ruto says all Kenyans must pay taxes to clear Sh10t debt
President-elect William Ruto during an interdenominational church service at Maua Stadium, Meru County, on Sunday, September 11, 2022. PHOTO/William Ruto (@WilliamsRuto)/Twitter

President-elect William Ruto yesterday called on Kenyans to be ready to pay taxes to help the country recover the huge debt incurred by the outgoing administration.

 Speaking at Maua Stadium in Meru county where he attended a thanksgiving ceremony two days to his inauguration, Ruto revealed that officials at the Treasury had confided in him that the country had an outstanding debt of close to Sh10 trillion.

 While accompanied by his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and a team of Kenya Kwanza leaders from Mt Kenya East, the President-elect, however, noted his government was focused on reviving the economy and lowering the cost of living.

“It is a must we lower the cost of living and save our economy from sinking further because Kenyans are suffering and we are inheriting a country with almost bursting debts,” he said.

 He told the hundreds of faithful present the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) must rise to the occasion and perform its duties.  “Paying tax is the only way we can save this nation because we have been borrowing more than saving. We have a debt of close to Sh10 trillion and at the same time, we must implement the Big Four agenda to make the lives of Kenyans better,” said Ruto.

 Save our economy

He said it was unfortunate that Kenya only saves seven percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to China at 55 per cent.  “China is able to loan us because they save 55 per cent compared to our country that unfortunately saves 7 per cent which is way far low. We need to work hard to get ourselves from this mess,” he said.

 “I will lead from the front in paying the tax.  So, I am calling on KRA to conduct the exercise in a professional and transparent manner without harassing Kenyans. Let no single business be closed because they have not paid tax. We need to be responsible,” he added.

 He indicated that he will soon announce a drop in the cost of flour and fertilizer. “ We cannot continue digging the hole which is already too deep. We need to fight on how to get out of the hole and that is why we are asking Kenyans, leaders who will be in the formation and even those in opposition to team up with us so that we can revive the economy and grow our nation together,” said Ruto.

“I am looking forward for the day that we will borrow money from the people of Kenya and not other countries,” he said.

He also promised to fight corruption and cartels exploiting farmers in the country.

“I promise you that the minute I put that Bible down on Tuesday, I will face all cartels including the Miraa cartels and I will whip them properly. It does not matter whom they are now that you have given me power, they will face me. I am sending them the warning if they are your relatives or friends tell them I am going for them,” he added.

 Thanking the region for overwhelmingly voting for him in the just concluded general election, Ruto and his deputy promised to include the face of Mt Kenya in his government.

 He was reacting to numerous calls from local leaders to appoint former senator Mithika Linturi who lost the Meru governor’s race to Kawira Mwangaza to his Cabinet.

“I don’t know how to thank you people of Meru for overwhelmingly voting for me. What I can say is you should stop getting worried about Mithika Linturi. This man is a hero and I promised him that he will share the presidency with me so don’t worry; he is safe and Mt Kenya is also safe in my government,” he added.

Rigathi said that their government will negotiate with other countries to open more markets for Miraa product. “Next week, we are meeting with the president of Somalia to foster way forward for Miraa produce and we are promising to have more talks with other countries to open the market for the crop,” said the president -elect.

 Gachagua urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to hand over power peacefully on Tuesday and pave way for the new government. “We respect Uhuru Kenyatta but now we are asking him after handing over power to consider retiring from active politics and go home and rest,” he added.

Bury the hatchet

Embu governor Cecily Mbarire and her Tharaka Nithi counterpart Muthomi Njuki called on the president-elect to consider rewarding Mt Kenya region.

Meru senator, who is also the Deputy Speaker in the Senate Kathuri Murungi criticised Martha Karua’s intention to move to East Africa Court to challenge Supreme Court ruling terming it as a waste of time.

 He asked Karua, who was Raila Odinga’s running mate, to stop wasting time and instead accept the verdict and focus on building the nation with the new government.

 Linturi called on Azimio team to consider reconciliation and bury the hatchet and unite with the new government to ensure the nation moves forward in unity.

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