‘I don’t mind being called Zakayo, I’m doing this for our country’ – Ruto

Thursday, February 8th, 2024 12:47 | By
President William Ruto giving a speech during his visit in Tokyo. PHOTO/Ruto(@WilliamsRuto)/X
President William Ruto giving a speech during his visit in Tokyo. PHOTO/Ruto(@WilliamsRuto)/X

President William Ruto has maintained that he will not be deterred from his commitment to bettering the country despite facing criticism for his revenue-raising methods.

Speaking in Tokyo, the Head of State noted that he doesn't mind the nicknames he has been branded as long as the country doesn't sink into debt.

According to Ruto, whatever method he implores to collect revenues from citizens is right and his conscious is clean.

He said he would continue doing what he has always done as it is best for the people of Kenya.

"I don't mind being called names such as 'Zakayo' because when you're doing the right thing, your conscience is clear. I will continue to do the right thing for our country irrespective of the names people call me, including Zakayo," Ruto declared.

President Ruto emphasized that his decisions are aimed at ensuring Kenya's prosperity and avoiding excessive debt.

He asserted that the country's development should be driven by its resources, rather than relying on external aid or accumulating debt.

"Our country will not be developed by others. Our country will not be developed by aid. Our country will not be developed by debt. Our country will be developed by us (Kenyans) using our revenues and taxes," he affirmed.

Ruto embraces his nickname 'Zakayo'

The name Zakayo surfaced on social platforms in May 2023 over his tax drives aimed at collecting more taxes from Kenyans.

The Head of State addressed his new given name noting that he didn't mind it.

Ruto was responding to KRA staff members who asked for a tax collectors' day to be held at the State House.

"Since I have already been referred to as Zakayo in some areas, maybe we will have a tax collectors day, that’s a good proposal and I will consider it," Ruto said.

Zakayo, the Swahili version of Zacchaeus, is a Biblical character who was a chief tax collector living in Jericho during the reign of the Roman Empire as the world's superpower.

According to the Biblical story, after meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus promised to give half of his wealth to the poor and return four times any possession he had acquired illegally.

"Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount," the Bible quotes him according to the New International Version in Luke 19:8.

He was unpopular with the people and when Jesus visited him, the Jews accused him (Jesus) of dining with a "sinner".

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