Uproar over new tax healthy, says DP Ruto

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The government will eliminate wastage of public funds to ensure Kenyans get value for money, Deputy President William Ruto said yesterday.

The DP said the government will only invest in projects that will turnaround the economy.

Speaking at the Consolata Shrines in Nairobi yesterday, Ruto said roads, water, health, electricity connection and education will be given priority.

Noting the current uproar on increased taxation, Ruto said Kenyans have the power and authority to determine the affairs of the country.

He said the discussions on the new taxes were healthy. “We have to take charge of how our development goes forward and it also means that we must be accountable,” Ruto said.

He was accompanied by Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen, MPs Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu) and John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Nixon Korir (Langata), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West) and Timothy Wanyonyi (Westlands).

Later in Narok where he attended interdenominational prayers at Inkoirienito Primary School, Ruto said resources must be put in sectors that will make lives better.

He said the government will take stern action against businessmen who are abusing the new tax levies on fuel to exploit the people.

“We have asked the National Transport and Safety Authority to take action against matatus that will be found to exploit Kenyans. Their licenses will be cancelled,” he said.

Ichung’wa said decisions made by leaders are meant to propel Kenya’s economy forward. He was referring to the passage of the Finance Bill, 2018 by MPs on Thursday.

“It is the responsibility of all Kenyans to pay taxes if we are to develop,” Ichungwa said.

He said they will not allow politicians to arm-twist Kenyans with the call for a review of the Constitution. “Any amendment must be informed by the needs of the country not the personal whims of leaders who want to create positions for themselves. Kenyans cannot be burdened by extra tax for funny seats like Prime Minister,” he said.

Murkomen asked Kenyans to appreciate gains made in the last six years instead of exhibiting “a lot of negative energy”.

“Let is not allow ourselves to be held back by the anger that will not shape our future. We must learn to criticise constructively,” said the Senate Majority Leader.

Murkomen urged the media to be fair in its reporting by feeding Kenyans with issues that would empower them.

Meanwhile, Mr Ruto has said a new CT scan machine will be installed at the Narok Referral Hospital by December. He said the new equipment is part of the government’s plan to boost access and quality of healthcare in counties.

“We will also supply milk cooling plants worth Sh300 million in Narok County so as to help farmers get more income and create jobs to youths,” he said.

He further appealed to Kenyans to play an active role in the development and unity of the country.

“It is healthy that we all make our contribution and work together towards building bridges of friendship, brotherhood and unity, and focus our energy in the development of our country.”

Other leaders who accompanied Ruto in Narok were Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, MPs Lemanken Aramat (Narok East), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), George Sunkuyia (Kajiado West), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) and David Ole Sankok (nominated).

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