President William Ruto at Busia Stadium During Interdenominationak Prayer Service
President William Ruto has remained headstrong on his plan to deduct workers' salaries to finance the building of affordable housing, asking legislators to accept the Finance Bill 2023 in its existing form even as Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah threatened to take legal action against it.
He appealed to Kenyans to support the 3% levy, conveying that opposition leaders who are opposing it receive pensions amounting to a million shillings every month. At an interfaith gathering in Busia County, Dr Ruto stated that the Opposition faction remains worried that the proposed levy might have a negative effect on their retirement income. Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, the luminaries to Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party, are leading the onslaught against the Bill.
"Kenyans pay each of them [Opposition leaders] Sh1 million every month as a pension, yet they claim to be unemployed. How can you earn Sh1 million every month and turn around to say you are unemployed," said Dr Ruto.
Activist Okiya Omtatah reported that the housing levy is inconsistent with several elements of the Constitution and threatened to take legal action against it. Dr Ruto defended the Bill, claiming that its implementation would stimulate the economy and generate employment. He requested Busia residents to implore their senator not to take legal action against the Bill.
Ruto stated that 42 out of 47 counties have already contributed land where the State would construct the houses. The Head of State criticized Mr Odinga and his Azimio brigade for threatening to demonstrate, saying it could result in property damage. Further, he urged Mr Odinga's battalion to provide constructive criticism rather than threaten demonstrations.
"I want to ask our opponents to be good. Let them not use our divisions to create chaos in the country. I am open to criticism and to being criticised. This will bring better ideas to move our country forward," Dr Ruto said.