Ruto to Kenyans: Manage your expectations on cost of living

Ruto to Kenyans: Manage your expectations on cost of living
Ruto to Kenyans: Manage your expectations on cost of living

Africa-Press – Kenya. President William Ruto has warned Kenyans to manage their expectations of a swift reduction in the cost of living. Ruto on Monday said he understands there is a serious situation of a high cost of living but also warned Kenyans to prepare for a rough road on the path to recovery, pointing an accusing finger at the previous regime.

“We didn’t get here overnight. It was after a series of wrong decisions,” said Ruto.

“We will not get out of it by magic. We will get out of it by a series of prudent decisions that must be made.” He spoke while opening the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Post Election Seminar in Mombasa.

National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi had earlier blasted the Ruto administration saying the cost of living has been constantly going up despite promises that it will come down during campaigns.

He intimated Parliament has the power to compel the Executive to take steps to reduce the cost of living but there is a section of the legislators unwilling to do that.

“There are complaints that among other things the cost of living is constantly increasing. We have the power to compel the Executive to act on those complaints. We are undergoing times like that in 2008,” Wandayi said.

In defence of the government, National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wa indirectly accused Wandayi of trying to introduce party politics in the meeting.

He said grandstanding will not take Kenya forward. “We must never allow grandstanding to stand in the way of our decisions to the disadvantage of our people,” Ichung’wa said.

The voice of reason, he said, must prevail for the benefit of the people leaders serve. He, however, said MPs must play their role to oversight the Executive and ensure Kenyans get the services they deserve.

Ruto rejected calls for a return to the Parliamentary system of government saying it will be going against the will of the people. The President said Kenyans decided to have the Presidential system in 2010.

He said the only thing that needs to be done is to refine the Presidential system so as to be much more accountable. “I am a strong believer of a government is as good as the system of a countability that is put in place,” Ruto said.

He was responding to calls from Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga for the return to the parliamentary system where Cabinet Secretaries will be directly answering questions from MPs.

Ichung’wa said they are working on a review of standing orders to allow CSs to appear before Parliament and answer questions directly from MPs. On taxes, the President said there is no other way but for Kenyans to do their duty of paying taxes.

Kenyans have complained of being overtaxed by the Ruto administration. But Ruto said there are no additional taxes that have been imposed on Kenyans but only those that have been approved by Parliament.

“Once we agree on a tax regime, each and every one of us must pay taxes,” Ruto said. He noted that there are leaders who are trying to whip up emotions so as manouvre their way out of paying taxes.

“We cannot operate in a space where those in power exempt themselves from paying taxes,” Ruto said.

“Even those who sponsor demonstrations so that they don’t pay taxes. I promise them, they will pay taxes.”

Wandayi claimed there is no way the seminar will end without addressing the IEBC issue. He said the electoral agency, just like the one which oversaw the 2007 elections, has integrity issues.

“The very existence of the IEBC is in doubt. It was split into two just like in 2007,” the Minority leader said. He called on Kenyans to reject the IEBC and any attempts to create a new one which will be under the orders of the Executive.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss attempted to diffuse the tension in the room by saying the IEBC matter will be discussed in later fora. However, murmurs erupted as MPs wanted the matter addressed.

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