What you need to know:
- Mwaura says Ruto’s administration needs two more years to stabilise the economy
- He says government policies have begun bearing fruit on cost of living
Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura has asked Kenyans to give President William Ruto’s administration two more years to stabilise the economy as he defended the Head of State’s policies and foreign trips.
In his inaugural address to the nation after his appointment in October, Mr Mwaura on Wednesday also defended Cabinet secretaries and other top officials who Kenyans have said were insensitive for flying helicopters from one county to another during the national tree planting day on Monday.
Mr Mwaura said about 150 million trees were planted, but did not provide any evidence, only saying some were manually counted and therefore did not tally with the government app—Jaza Miti—which indicated 10 million trees were planted.
“The manual tallying as of November 14th shows that the country planted over 150 million trees. So far, a total of 10,794,604 trees have been documented in the Jaza Miti App.”
Lead from the front
“I have seen people asking why we should have Cabinet secretaries and senior government officials hopping from one place to another. Leadership is singular. You’ve got to be there. You must lead from the front,” Mr Mwaura said.
He added that the benefit of achieving the target of 15 billion trees in the next 10 years supersedes the cost of the expenditure.
“Let us just not be pedantic about these issues because even when you look at this whole initiative, it is funded by well-wishers and other corporations, it’s not just the Kenyan government,” Mr Mwaura said.
On the cost of living, Mr Mwaura echoed the President, saying that the cost of unga has dropped from Sh230 in the last one year to between Sh145, and Sh175 depending on the brand of the commodity.
He also said that the prices of other commodities are dropping over time as a result of the government’s deliberate effort to subsidise production rather than consumption.
“It is not going to be easy. As much as we are doing this, we are also having the challenge of the dollar, which is skyrocketing, and that has a great impact on the cost of living,” Mr Mwaura said.
He added: “President Ruto is really doing well in terms of ensuring that we don’t sink further, it could have gotten much worse and I really want to call upon Kenyans to be patient so that we stabilise things. In the next one to two years, we will for sure start seeing changes.”
Touching on President Ruto’s 39 foreign trips in one year, the spokesperson said that the benefits of such trips outweigh the costs.
“President Ruto has stepped up diplomatic outreaches with various countries with the aim of diversifying economic ties and deepening foreign relations. The President has made 39 foreign visits and we have hosted over 30 heads of state and government,” Mr Mwaura said.
Also Read: Ruto’s 29 diplomatic meets in 9 months
He added that in his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, President Ruto secured 350,000 job opportunities for Kenyans, which will boost the economy.
He said that such trips have yielded numerous benefits for the country, fostering Kenya’s international relations and influence in the region.
“We have had the benefit of almost Sh2 trillion that has been sealed in terms of MoUs (memoranda of understanding). You can ask the question why not let the ambassadors do it; it is not that simple, and you have to give that trust to the President,” he said.