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Focus on fighting corruption, Justina Wamae tells Ruto

By Wangu Kanuri February 8th, 2024 2 min read

Former Roots Party presidential running mate Justina Wamae has called on President William Ruto to focus on reclaiming the funds that have been embezzled rather than imposing excessive taxes on the citizens of Kenya.

In her reaction to statements from the president, Wamae contended that it would be more feasible for Dr Ruto to pursue the individuals involved in financial misappropriation. By doing so, he could fund his planned projects without burdening the average Kenyan citizen.

“Rais you are justifying over taxation instead of debt but there’s an easier way out, using the sword to go after those who carried money in sacks. Recovery of the money will go a long way in financing government projects without you being named Zakayo. Why punish ordinary Kenyans and you already know who took the money?” She said.

Earlier on, when in Tokyo, President Ruto said he did not mind the nickname Zakayo as long as the country does not sink into debt. Likening Kenya with Japan, Dr Ruto said that the latter was built by the Japanese with their revenues and taxes urging Kenyans to roll up their sleeves and be ready to build the country with its own revenue and taxes.

Additionally, he said that Kenya would not be built by debt emphasising that he was aimed at ensuring the country’s progression “I don’t mind being called names such as ‘Zakayo’ because when you’re doing the right thing, your conscience is clear. I will continue to do the right thing for our country irrespective of the names people call me, including Zakayo.”

In May 2023, the moniker Zakayo gained traction on social media following the introduction of new tax proposals by the administration under President Ruto. The comparison drawn was to Zacchaeus (referred to as Zakayo in Swahili), the biblical figure who climbed a Sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus, as narrated in the New Testament.

Zacchaeus served as a tax collector in Jericho and was despised by the Jewish community, who believed he was enriching himself at their expense. It appears that President Ruto has somewhat adopted the nickname ‘Zakayo’ with a semblance of acceptance.

Also read: Ruto appoints Ex-CS Henry Rotich Senior Advisor

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