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Exclusive: Hatukufi leo! Njugush reacts to proposed housing levy

Kenyan comedian Njugush has criticized the housing levy in the proposed Finance Bill 2023.

According to Njugush, the government should listen to the views of members of the public concerning the proposal.

Njugush, whose real name is Timothy Kimani, also noted that building affordable houses is not a priority for the country.

“Hatukufi leo. The government should focus on other pressing issues. People don’t need houses. The focus should be on rebuilding the country’s economy,” Njugush said an exclusive interview with Nairobi News.

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“I would also love to be a house owner within the city. But if Kenyans have given their opinion, then the government should follow that. Also, it is not good to threaten lawmakers who oppose the Bill,” he added.

He also noted that the government should have a clear plan on how the affordable hosing project will be actualized.

“Building affordable houses is a beautiful plan. However, there are a lot of things that need to be explained,” he said.

Initially, the government had proposed a 3 per cent contribution by all employees towards the Housing Fund, a figure that has since been lowered to 1.5 per cent. The same amount will also be contributed by employers for every employee.

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President William Ruto has been actively campaigning for the Housing Fund, saying it is a project that will help the country solve the challenge of affordable housing. According to the President, the project will also improve the standard of living for people in informal settlements.

But the proposals have been strongly opposed by Opposition politicians and a section of the general public. In the 2023/2024 budget, the government has allocated Sh35.2 billion to the housing programme.

“The cost of housing is a heavy burden to the majority of Kenyans and is the main factor driving the proliferation of slums in the country. The government plans to use housing as an economic opportunity through employment,” National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u said while reading the budget.

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