- William Ruto
Kenya Kwanza presidential flagbearer, William Ruto, has defended controversial remarks made by his running mate, Mathira Member of Parliament, Rigathi Gachagua, on government expenditure on corporates.
Speaking during a rally in Witu, Lamu county, Ruto stated that Gachagua was right by calling on the government to invest more in the youth and start ups like it has done in parastatals and other corporates.
While referring to the alleged injection of of Ksh100 billion to bail out a state corporation, the DP opined that the youth would have benefited from even half of the capital injected, especially those running businesses.Deputy President William Ruto (right) and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua (left) in Nyeri on Saturday, May 21, 2022.DPPS
"We have always planned the economy from the top, focusing on the big companies, such that we only enjoy the benefits when it trickles down in bits. We have waited for 50 years yet the benefits have not been felt.
"If we can invest Ksh100 billion in one company, is there any wrongdoing in pumping Ksh50 billion into youth-owned businesses?" He posed.
"Kenya is not for the high and mighty but for all citizens and that is why we are saying bottom up," he added.
The Deputy President pledged that his government will increase resources allocation to the youth from the current Ksh100 million annually to Ksh150 million. He added that the disbursement will be done in every constituency.
"We have to better the economy and we can only achieve this by helping everyone. Let us invest the taxpayers' money in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
"For the first time ever, the same way you get the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), we will now give Ksh150 million every year to help the green grocers and boda boda riders, so that the money flows upwards," he remarked.
Gachagua, while speaking during an interview on May 24, stated that it would be wise for the government to invest in multiple MSMEs rather than lump up huge investments into a single corporate.
He argued that having one giant company paying taxes did not generate as much revenue as thousands of small businesses remitting taxes to the government, even though in smaller amounts.
The comment sparked a debate from a section of Kenyans who called him out for allegedly capitalising on the fall of larger corporates to fund MSMEs. They argued that the bigger corporates employ thousands and hence needed to be given due respect.Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua in Marakwet East, on Thursday, May 26, 2022.Courtesy UDA
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