Ruto: Kenya will borrow Sh1 trillion this year

For President Ruto, the only way to plug the financing gap in the 2024/25 fiscal year is for the country to proceed to the markets and borrow Kes1 trillion.

This assertion, he notes, is one of the immediate consequences emanating from the rejection of the Finance Bill 2024, a legislation proposal that caused widespread protests across Kenya leading to the death of 23 people, business losses, and setting ablaze part of parliament buildings.

“We have dropped the Finance Bill. What does that mean? It means we have gone back almost two years,” President Ruto told a media panel on Sunday night at State House, Nairobi.

“This year we are going to borrow Kes1 trillion shillings to run our government. Dropping the finance bill means we will not confirm the Junior Secondary School (JSS) teachers. It means we cannot support our farmers. It means we will continue to import potatoes from Europe,” Ruto explained.

He added that another implication is that dairy farmers will not be getting a return of Ksh50 per litre of milk. Additionally, coffee farmers’ debts will not be written off as planned while sugarcane growers will also suffer, as the envisaged support will not be forthcoming.

Read also: Ruto declines to sign Finance Bill 2024

Youth led protests in Kenya

Despite rejecting the Finance Bill last week, Ruto signed the Appropriations Bill 2024 into law to ensure government operations continue, while directing the National Treasury to prepare a mini-budget.

In response to the significant challenges that his administration is facing, especially with the growing unrest among the youth who are now demanding his resignation, President Ruto has proposed engaging with the country’s young population, including on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to listen address their concerns.

“I hear the young people are saying they don’t want a multisectoral forum. Maybe we should have an engagement with the President on X. I’m open to having an engagement with the young people on a forum they are comfortable with. If they want me to engage with them on X, I will be there,” Ruto said.

This initiative comes after increasing online discontent, particularly from Gen Z, who have been vocal about issues such as taxation, unemployment, and corruption to which the President expressed his readiness to discuss these issues on X.

“Tell me who among you is going to set up the X Space and either Thursday or Friday, I will be there. I want us to discuss taxation, unemployment, corruption, and all issues,” he added.

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