2022 Presidential aspirant Jimi Wanjigi has accused President William Ruto of taking a path that will fail the country.
In an interview with K24 TV on Tuesday night, Wanjigi said the President has failed to listen to the public outcry in the debate on the Finance Bill 2023, which has proposed a number of taxes.
"President Ruto is taking us down a road that will fail. There has never been a public outcry on an attempt like this Finance Bill. He is not addressing the matter which is debt. If Kenyans understand the problem, they will help solve it.," Wanjigi said.
According to Wanjigi, Ruto's government has failed to stimulate the economy eight months after taking power and is now planning to tax Kenyans more in order to meet its financial obligations.
"(Mwai) Kibaki inherited a negative GDP of 1. The first thing he did was create a stimulus program. Remember free Primary education? If I was spending Ksh10,000 on fees, I could instead use that money to start a small business. The money went back to the government as V.A.T because of more economic activity," he said.
Wanjigi's take on public debt
Wanjigi says that since taking power, the current government has continued borrowing which has seen public debt levels rise to worrying levels.
"We passed our threshold of 30% of our revenue going to debt a long time ago. We are now at 80%. We entered a debt trap and we need more and more to sustain us. Ghana which went into default reached 70% and it said, 'We surrender',' he noted.
"The government borrows every week and so every time the shilling drops against the dollar, our total debt increases by Ksh40 billion. This monster is increasing."
Wanjigi says that for the government to succeed, it has to cut on borrowing and deal with the current debt first, before thinking of more debt.
"The government has reached the stage where it is at the end of the tarmac. There is nothing left to borrow. They have to deal with this monster called debt which is the biggest expenditure," he said.
According to data from the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya’s public debt crossed the Khh9 trillion ($72 billion) mark for the first time in December 2022.