Uhuru: Ignore loud mouths f******g the Jubilee track record
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday broke his silence over sustained criticism of the Jubilee government’s track record by the Kenya Kwanza administration.
Without naming his critics, Uhuru appeared to direct his message at his successor, President William Ruto and top leaders in the present administration, maintaining that the Jubilee government delivered on various fronts.
His reaction opens up a new battlefront between the former allies-turned-foes, with the Ruto administration repeatedly stating that it inherited a country in economic ruin as a result of poor policies by the Jubilee government.
Speaking at the residence of the late Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha, where he had gone to pay his respects to the fallen academician, the former Head of State also appeared to respond to attacks by the Kenya Kwanza administration on tax evasion claims and the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) .
In the past few days, Ruto has sustained his claims that tax cheats are behind the rallies being hosted by Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his allies.
“Even if they sponsor demonstrations, there will be no escape; everyone must pay tax. I want to tell them they must pay tax, we are going to have a fair share of the burden of payment of taxes and raising revenue,” Ruto told MPs attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in Mombasa on Monday.
The President claimed that tax cheats have been financing the opposition to slow him down on his efforts to get big defaulters to pay what they owe the government.
But in a rejoinder yesterday, Uhuru hit back at critics of the former government, terming them variously as noisemakers and idlers. “Hey Steve, don’t worry about these people who are making noise. People who have nothing else to do will always make noise. And that’s life. We will just mind our business,” Uhuru stated in reference to earlier remarks by Wiper Party Leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, who accompanied him during the visit.
Uhuru reflected on the late minister’s sterling performance in the Education docket, describing his appointment as a wise and visionary, further pouring cold water on the criticism that was directed at the CBC education policy during the Kenya Kwanza government’s first weeks in office.
He said Magoha took his job seriously, going to the extent of assigning fellow ministers and top government officials to supervise delivery of examination materials.
“I believe that when I made him minister, I made the right choice in putting at the helm of Education a man who deserved that position, and from there he continued to do what he did in addressing the curriculum challenges that we had, and bringing in a new education system...
“... People may say whatever they want to say, but they will just make noise and still revisit what we did,” he said.
“There is nowhere they will go because this was not done to hit this one, to spike that one, to do this, but was done in the interest of the children of this Republic to prepare them for that future that was radically different from the future some of us had to look forward to,” he said.
He noted that CBC was meant to equip Kenyan children with the necessary skills and knowledge to confront challenges posed by a changing world.
“There are two types of people; those who talk a lot about what they will do, and end up doing nothing. “Those are many,” he said. Uhuru praised Magoha, saying he belonged to the category of people who talk less but do a lot.
He was responding to Kalonzo who had advised him to ignore the attacks from the current administration.
While alluding to this, Uhuru affirmed that he was not interested in the ongoing criticism.
“Don’t worry about these people who are making noise, people who have nothing else to do will always make noise. That’s life. We’ll mind our business,” Uhuru stated.
Kalonzo criticised the Kenya Kwanza administration for targeting Uhuru, hardly four months since he left office.
“What would George do on hearing that his number one is now being victimised? I want to tell you Kenyans, if anybody was today going to victimise Uhuru, I don’t know what would happen to this country because he was Magoha’s boss,” Kalonzo said.
Probe on Uhuru
A section of Mt Kenya senators had demanded a probe into Uhuru’s businesses for the past 10 years. The legislators urged President William Ruto to order an audit into the tax waivers allegedly enjoyed by the former Head of State since ascending to office.
The senators included John Methu (Nyandarua), James Murango (Kirinyaga), Wahome Wamatinga (Nyeri), and Tabitha Mutinda (nominated). They further accused Uhuru of sponsoring Azimio’s rally to sabotage Ruto’s revenue plan.
Given tax waivers
“He was given tax waivers for the past 10 years. We are doing an audit report and we will place it on the floor of the House and he must pay that,” Wamatinga stated.
Murango also called on county governments to establish whether Uhuru paid his land rates.
The politicians echoed Ruto’s stance on taxes, warning that he would not spare anyone from meeting their tax obligations.
“We cannot operate in a space where those in power exempt themselves from paying tax by using all instruments. I want to tell those who used to exempt themselves from paying tax that their day is up even if they sponsor demonstrations,” President Ruto said in Mombasa during at a parliamentary Post-Election Seminar.