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Ruto: Let people keep calling me Zakayo as I collect taxes, it’s just a name

President William Ruto has once again embraced his nickname ‘Zakayo’, saying he does not care what people call him.

The Commander-in-Chief has reiterated his determination to move the nation forward through his plans and agendas, including tax collection, regardless of the labels attached to him.

Speaking at this year’s Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens on Wednesday, May 1, President Ruto stressed that ‘Zakayo’ is just a name.

“Being called Zakayo is not a problem; we have to pay taxes to build and grow our nation. Zakayo is just a name,” said Dr Ruto.

Dressed in a purple Kaunda suit, a colour associated with the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Kenya and often chosen by the union’s secretary general Francis Atwoli, the resolute and bold President reiterated that he would not be deterred by detractors as the nation moves forward through revenue collection – taxes.

“We need to build affordable housing for the less privileged and thereby create employment opportunities for our youth,” he affirmed.

With the ongoing controversial affordable housing plan, the President revealed that the initiative has already created employment for over 100,000 youths working on construction sites and providing various services based on their technical skills and professionalism.

Zakayo is a Swahili word that refers to Zacchaeus, a character in the Bible who was a tax collector despised by the Jews for his dishonest practices. But his encounter with Jesus in Jericho changed his life.

According to the book of Luke 19:1-10, Zacchaeus, though wealthy, wanted to see Jesus, being small, he climbed a sycamore tree.

When Jesus arrived, he invited himself into Zacchaeus’s house, which led to a significant change in Zacchaeus’s behaviour.

However, those present at Jesus’ visit did not welcome the move. They complained that Zakayo was a sinner because of his actions in collecting taxes.

The Labour Day remarks were not the first time President Ruto has used the name ‘Zakayo’.

He claims that he does not mind being called by that name as long as his commitment is to the country’s best interests.

Dr Ruto’s comment on the nickname comes as Kenyans celebrate Christina Shusho’s latest hit song called ‘Zakayo’.

Online, netizens are praising the song, noting that it reminds them of him – Ruto.

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