Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has called for patience from Kenyans as their Kenya Kwanza administration mitigates the tough economic situation being witnessed in the country.
In an interview on Sunday, the country’s second-in-command said he and President William Ruto inherited a dilapidated economy last week and thus it will take some time before they take control of the situation.
“The situation is very bad, there is no money in the Treasury, and the little that we are collecting goes to salaries and you have to keep the country going so we need to do a lot to boost production,” the DP told NTV.
He revealed that the Kenya Kwanza administration is currently prioritising agriculture as a remedy even as the cost of foodstuffs like maize flour remains high due to lifting of the maize subsidy by ex-President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
“We must spend time, effort and money on agriculture. That’s the way to go and I can tell Kenyans that in the next two or three months they are going to start seeing things picking up,” said Mr. Gachagua.
“We have been talking to KRA and we have told them that we need to change our tax regimes. Progressively we are going to have an increase in revenue collection, we are going to increase production of our agricultural commodities.”
Added Gachagua: “In another 90-100 days, the economy will start feeling the effect of good management.”
While noting that their government is seeking a “permanent and sustainable” solution to the high cost of living, the DP trashed Jubilee’s use of subsidies to mitigate fuel and food prices as mere “deception”.
“We are looking for a permanent and sustainable solution. It would be deceptive to the people of Kenya to continue subsidising the fuel only for a short while, and then we have an economic shutdown. We want to look for a long-term solution and I want to ask people to be very patient, things will work out,” said the deputy president.
“The one they did for unga, they are telling us they have pending bills worth Ksh.8 billion. Nobody saw this unga, it was all theft where a few traders and government officials took advantage.
They wanted to bring down the cost of Unga so people could vote for Azimio.”
President Ruto on Friday reiterated that his government will not subsidise consumables but instead focus on production as a means of stabilising prices.
“We are not going to subsidise consumption, we are going to work and support producers,” Ruto told Kenya Kwanza leaders in Naivasha .
The Commander in Chief poked holes in the subsidy programme pointing out that Kenya Kwanza Alliance will boost food production by injecting billions of shillings into both small-scale and large-scale Farming.
“The unga subsidy that was done, I was being briefed by the Agriculture Ministry, the taxpayer was asked to give Ksh. 7 billion for one month, the Ksh 100 packet which was nowhere in the first place,” he explained.
He added then: “If we had spent Ksh. 7 billion in fertiliser, it would have been a very different programme.”
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