We Expect A State Of The Nation Apology By Ruto, Not An Address – Migori Senator Eddy Oketch

Written by on 9 November 2023

Migori Senator Eddy Oketch has urged President William Ruto to apologise to the people of Kenya for the high cost of living and demand urgent government action to address the issue.

Speaking on Citizen TV’s Daybreak show on Thursday, he questioned why fuel prices were rising in the country despite international reductions, as well as the devaluation of the Kenyan shilling against the US dollar.

“We do not expect a state of the nation address; we expect a state of national apology by the president,” he stated. 

The legislator also raised questions about the increased fees by the State Department of Immigration and Citizen Services on Wednesday,  for processing Permanent Residences for children of Kenyan citizens born abroad, suggesting it was unfair to charge them for being born outside Kenya.

“How do you tax Kenyans and then form an enterprise to start charging them for being born abroad,” he added on the new charges that have since been described as an “error” by Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary Roseline Njogu. 

Mukurwe-ini MP John Kaguchia who was also on the panel defended President Ruto, stating that he (Ruto) inherited a challenging situation from the previous Government and the debt accumulated during that time. 

“It is not easy for him but he has to do the job and one of the challenges he had to suffer is the loan up to almost Ksh.10 trillion borrowed by the previous regime,” he stated.

Kaguchia emphasized that the Government needed to collect more revenue to manage the public debt.

“It’s not that the Government is not collecting money. The truth of the matter is, it has set way higher targets than last year to be able to meet public debt,” he remarked.

Kisii Senator Onyonka countered this argument, stating that the debt was accrued during Ruto’s tenure as Deputy President and was not related to the ‘handshake Government’, as claimed by Kaguchia. 

Onyonka also encouraged Ruto to engage in negotiations with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni regarding the importation of petroleum products, which has become a contentious issue, after Museveni accused middlemen of inflating prices, leading to increased costs for consumers.

Furthermore, he criticized excessive government spending on foreign trips while Kenyans faced over-taxation and service deficiencies. He expressed concern that if petrol prices reached Ksh.300 per litre, it would pose a severe problem for the government.

“People are just travelling the world, having coffee, while children do not have milk in schools,” he stated.

Furthermore, he highlighted the deteriorating state of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and claimed that funds intended for the World Rally Championship had been misappropriated, potentially jeopardizing the event scheduled for the following year.

With President Ruto expected to deliver the State of the Nation address today, November 9, he is expected to address the country’s issues and outline steps taken to build the nation, as required by Article 132 of the Constitution.

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