President William Ruto on Sunday told Kenyans to bear the pain of paying taxes if they expect the country’s economy to grow.
The President said in matters of the economy he is a student of former President Mwai Kibaki who inherited a dilapidated economy from his predecessor but grew it through taxation.
Addressing residents of Nyeri County at Sagana State Lodge during a thanks-giving service, President Ruto said the country will cut borrowing, which he said is unsustainable.
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“When we took over power, I told you that our first task was to stabilise the economy of this country because it was in a bad state. We have now achieved this and we have decided never to rely on borrowing again to sustain our economy,this issue of borrowing left right and centre must come to an end. We must build this country on a strong foundation not a foundation of debts,” he said.
The President lamented that some international credit rating agencies were frustrating efforts to make early payments for Kenya’s foreign debt.
“We have debts that are supposed to mature in June next year. Last week me and my finance CS Prof Njuguna Ndung’u in collaboration with some partners we came up with a plan to repay the debts earlier because we did not want to wait until next year. But strangely, some rogue credit rating agencies who are used to using unorthodox means to inflate our debts wrote some letter demanding to know why we want to repay earlier than scheduled, but I know they wanted us to default,” he said.
“We shall build our country on a solid foundation based on the taxes we pay. I have a teacher, Kibaki, who found a country that had a budget of only 200 billion which he helped to raise to 1 trillion. His clarion call was pay taxes ,I will follow his footsteps to build our economy,” he said.
The proposed talks between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya dominated the meeting, with leaders maintaining a hard-line stance on the agenda.
National Assembly Majority Leader and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa, who is leading the Kenya Kwanza team in the proposed talks, said they will not accept any talks that could lead to power sharing.
“We will engage in talks with opposition leaders in the spirit of a united nation, not threats and intimidation,” he said.
He asked President Ruto to stand firm on demos organized by Azimio.
Council of Governors Chairperson and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said the Mt Kenya region was firmly behind President Ruto to ensure it reaps maximum benefit from his administration.
She said that area residents have confidence that the administration will continue to fulfil its campaign pledges.
“The love and commitment of the Mountain people to our President is unconditional, and unwavering,” she said. She lauded the President for the development projects initiated in the region and exuded confidence that the government would deliver on its promises.