President Ruto graciously embraces biblical nickname ‘Zakayo’ from Kenyans
The Finance Bill 2023, which seeks to amend laws relating to various taxes and levies, has not only sparked debate in the country but has also branded the President with a biblical name, Zacchaeus or Zakayo in Kiswahili – as in the tax collector.
The opposition Azimo La Umoja One Kenya Coalition has been calling the president Zakayo at their rallies over what they say are more taxes being introduced by the Kenya Kwanza administration.
Some Kenyans have also joined the opposition in calling the President, Zakayo.
The name comes from the Bible, Luke 19:1, where we read about a man called Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector and wealthy.
On Friday, 26 May, the president admitted that he was aware of the name Kenyans had given him.
While addressing the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff at Times Tower after filing his tax returns, the President chatted with them.
At the end, the President opened the floor to questions from the staff, and one lady asked the President if he could receive her at State House for Tax Payers Day, which is celebrated every October.
“Since I am already called Zakayo in some areas, perhaps we could have a Tax Payers Day at State House and that is a good suggestion and we can all agree on how to collect taxes with integrity,” the President replied.
He is accompanied by his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, who has been dubbed Riggy G, a name coined by Ivy Chelimo that took the internet by storm and has been acknowledged by the DP.
During the meeting with KRA staff, the President lectured the authority’s officials for being a stumbling block to his agenda by being at the forefront of bribery and facilitating tax evasion.
“I must tell you that collusion, wanton bribery and general corruption continue to pervade the operations of the KRA. Facilitating tax evasion, massive leakages of potential revenue and inability to meet revenue targets,” the President said.
He repeated the same message to the staff, saying that what he was referring to was the truth that all staff at Times Tower were aware of.
The President said the staff encouraged many people in the country not to pay their taxes.