Kenya: We Must Make Bold Decisions, Ruto Says in Defending Finance Bill

Nairobi — President William Ruto says bold decisions must be made for Kenya to move forward as he defended his proposed taxes as contained in the controversial Finance Bill for debate in Parliament.

The President insisted that his administration will focus on ensuring the country lives within its means by reducing debt borrowing and revamping tax collection to raise revenue for his Sh 3.6 trillion budget for the next financial year.

“It’s time to be bold and brave. Delayed tactics and failure are written in the shaky handwriting of cowards. Excuses are the nails used to construct the coffins of failure,” Ruto said at the annual National Prayer Breakfast.

The Head of State expressed hope that the proposed taxes by his administration will ultimately transform the country.

“This moment demands singular courage. Our commitment is under test, only bold decisions will enable us make the best of these opportunities to unlock the possibility of the Kenya we all want,” the President said.

President Ruto while urging Kenyans to fasten their belts once the Finance Bill passes invoked Daniel 11:32 that ‘those who know their God they shall be strong and they shall do exploits’.

“Living within our means requires us to work with what we have. Remember Moses when he was confronted with situations, God asked him what do you have in your hands. We all know what he hand in his hands,” he said.

The National Assembly Finance Committee led by Molo MP Kimani Kuria has retreated to write a report on the bill after receiving over 1000 submissions from various stakeholders during public participation.

The Finance Committee is set to table the report before the house on Tuesday next week ahead of the budget reading set for Thursday next week.

Contentious Proposal

Among the contentious proposals in the Bill include a contribution to the National Housing Development Fund where employees are expected to remit 3 percent of their salary to the fund.

If the Bill becomes an Act, taxpayers may have to contend with an increase in the VAT of petroleum from 8.0 percent to 16 percent, which will potentially increase the price of fuel.

The Bill proposes to increase excise duty on money transfer services by cellular phone service providers from 12 percent to 15 percent, meaning an increase in your M-Pesa or Airtel Money charges.