Ruto: You can access 'Hustler Fund', but on one condition...

President William Ruto speaks speech mashujaa day

President William Ruto speaks at the Mashujaa Day celebrations held at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, on October 20, 2022. 

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto has set a condition for millions of ‘hustlers’ eagerly awaiting one of his biggest campaign promises: the Sh50 billion a year Hustler Fund. 

In his Mashujaa Day speech, Dr Ruto indicated that ‘hustlers’ will have to participate in a pensions programme in order to access the cheap credit.

“All borrowers on this platform will also participate in a short-term savings plan and long-term pensions programme. Every saving made by borrowers on this platform will be merged by the government of Kenya on a 2:1 ratio to a level to be determined by the programme,” President Ruto said.

This means the government is using the fund to grow pension contributions in extension of its recent efforts to push the increase of National Social Security Fund (NSSF) contributions from the current Sh200 to about Sh2,000, which has been blocked by the High Court.

Whether the condition, which had not been disclosed before, encourages or discourages more disbursement of cheap credit to the sectors and individuals who have for long been left out, will only be clear when the programme becomes operational.

He gave the condition while announcing that he will launch the Hustler Fund credit and savings product on December 1.

“Already, expectations are very high across the country on our promise to provide a fund that will offer affordable credit to those at the bottom of the pyramid. We are aware that the most significant question in the streets, boda boda parking lots and fresh produce markets is: WHEN will the Hustlers Fund become operational? I have an answer for you today. I will launch this Hustler Fund credit and savings product on the 1st of December this year,” the President said in his Thursday afternoon address. 

While acknowledging that many Kenyans are in dire need of cheap credit and had huge expectations of his campaign promises, Dr Ruto indicated that credit products would be available to both individuals and firms.

"Credit products will be available to small businesses on digital platforms at affordable rates to individuals and through chamas, groups, saccos and cooperatives," he said.

"No citizen will be excluded from the credit system. They will, therefore, be eligible to access credit as they work their way out in paying their loans."

Listen to President Ruto's Mashujaa Day speech in full below:

Watch: President William Ruto's full Mashujaa Day speech

Check out our other coverage of this year's Mashujaa Day: