A group of politicians aligned with the Opposition have criticized President William Ruto, accusing him of not fulfilling the promises he made to the Kenyan people during his campaign leading up to the August 2022 elections.
During an appearance on Citizen TV’s The Big Conversation Show on Wednesday, Member of Parliament for Kathiani, Robert Mbui, assessed President Ruto’s first year in office and gave his government a disappointing score of only 10 percent.
Ruto took office exactly one year ago on September 13, 2022, when he was inaugurated as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya at the Kasarani National Stadium.
Mbui explained, “I would rate them at about 10 percent, mainly because they have assumed their roles. However, when it comes to addressing the issue of the high cost of living, a promise they made during the campaign, they have fallen short.”
Mbui argued that to alleviate the high cost of living in Kenya, President Ruto’s administration should have prioritized ensuring that Kenyans had more disposable income and that prices for goods and services were lowered. Instead, Mbui contended, President Ruto increased the burden on Kenyans by introducing and approving the controversial Finance Act of 2023, which raised taxes, leading to higher prices for goods and services.
He stated, “By passing the Finance Bill, they elevated the tax structure, resulting in increased prices for all commodities since any change in fuel prices affects transportation, electricity, manufacturing, and more. Essentially, they raised the cost of goods and services while reducing available spending money.”
Mbui’s views were echoed by Willis Otieno, the Secretary-General of the Safina Party, who lamented that Kenya’s economy was more stable before President Ruto came to power. Otieno pointed out that Kenyans had a higher standard of living last year, with better access to food and services. However, he expressed concern that now the government seemed focused solely on imposing more taxes.
“We are now in a situation where we can only expect more taxation. We have reached a point where even activities like swimming, which is more of a life skill than a luxury, are being taxed. Kenya Kwanza has failed to fulfill any of its promises. Personally, I would give them a D- just for showing up,” Otieno remarked.
Although Nderitu Muriithi, the former Governor of Laikipia, acknowledged that the cost of fertilizers had decreased since Ruto took office, he emphasized that any benefits gained by farmers in the agricultural sector were overshadowed by high production costs. He noted that the price of food had risen, including items like onions and milk, and explained that the increased prices of electricity and fuel had made farmers worse off overall due to higher production expenses.
“In essence,” Muriithi concluded, “Kenyans are in a worse position now, despite the reduction in fertilizer costs.”