Rigathi Gachagua in fresh media attack
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has launched a fresh attack on the media.
In his address during the 2023 Madaraka Day celebrations in Embu on June 1, 2023, the DP claimed the media is ‘inciting the public against the passage of the Finance Bill 2023’
“The press is leading in spreading gossip,” claimed Gachagua.
“Just like we saw in 2022 during the general elections when it played part as Azimio brigade.”
Gachagua has frequently accused the media of campaigning for Azimio leader Raila Odinga in the run up to the 2022 presidential elections.
Mr Odinga finished second, behind President William Ruto in the hotly contested poll.
Further Gachagua has separately accused the media of ‘failing to move on after Mr Odinga lost in the poll’ and instead resorting to championing divise politics in the country
The second in command explained that the controversial bill will, if passed by Parliament and assented into law, aid in helping Kenya pay off its huge debts.
The Finance Bill by recommends among others, increasing fuel tax (VAT), from the current 8 per cent to 16 on petroleum products.
It also proposes a 3 percent reduction of all employees’ salaries that will be channeled towards building affordable houses for Kenyans and the taxing of content creators.
“The bill will enable us to settle our debts,” Mr Gachagua said.
“I urge all Kenyans to allow our president to steer the country forward.”
However, a section of workers unions, organizations, traders’ representatives and opposition political parties have joined hands faulting the bill, lamenting it will cause an upsurge in the soaring cost of living.
They term it as a bad proposal and approach to an ailing nation, which has not recovered yet from the post Covid-19 effects.
Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Alliance leader, Raila Odinga has vowed to mobilise his lawmakers to shoot it down when the bill is tabled in parliament.
And Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah says he will move to court to block the bill from becoming law.
It is not the first time the DP is attacking the media publicly.
Besides, the DP’s aides and security officers have been caught on camera manhandling a journalist at a public event.
But President William Ruto has stressed that his government respects media freedom of expression even after policemen were caught on camera teargassing and beating up journalists during the anti-government protests led by Mr Odinga.