• Wednesday, 24 July 2024
Eric Omondi files a petition urging the president to reduce the number of trips he takes in a year

Eric Omondi files a petition urging the president to reduce the number of trips he takes in a year

 Comedian-turned-political activist Eric Omondi now says he has filed a petition urging President William Ruto to significantly reduce the number of trips he makes in each financial year at the expense of taxpayers.

Omondi's petition comes as the government prepares to announce the budget for the next financial year, on Thursday; a budget overshadowed by the controversial proposed Finance Bill, 2024 which is set to introduce numerous new taxes for Kenyans.

During an appearance on Citizen TV’s ‘JKLive’ show on Wednesday night, Omondi stressed the need for austerity measures from both the Executive and Legislature instead of the numerous new taxes proposed in the Bill, further highlighting how President Ruto spends millions in taxpayer money on travel expenses alone.

“I want to challenge the government, from the President to the Deputy President, to the CSs, PSs and Members of Parliament to take a pay cut for just one year. I have petitioned the President to travel less. I don’t know how far it will go but you will see it in court tomorrow,” said Omondi.

“The President has traveled 68 times and he carries a huge delegation. The money that Joe Biden gave to Kenya following Ruto’s visit vis-a-vis the money spent on that trip including the plane that was used, is not adding up. We must hold this government accountable.”

According to Omondi, instead of honouring every invite, Ruto should delegate some of the trips to top ministers who typically travel with a smaller entourage.

“We have petitioned because there are some things the Prime CS or Foreign Affairs CS can handle. When the President travels, the delegation is huge. He does not have to honour every invite because it is taxpayer money,” he said.

“We need to put our priorities right so that we can know where to cut down spending and add on development.”

Omondi likewise criticised President Ruto for not keeping promises he made while on the campaign trail, adding that the Head of State has neglected the needs of the ordinary Kenyans who voted him into office.

“I want to personally call out President William Ruto. The problem we are experiencing today is an issue of promises not kept. The President campaigned for two years and his rhetoric was simple: If I get elected I will deliver to you serikali ya mama mboga na mtu wa bodaboda,” said Omondi.

According to Omondi, the reality has been starkly different from the promises made on the campaign trail.

“As I am seated here, it is the exact opposite; the priorities of Kenya Kwanza are upside down. This issue about people being overtaxed; if you look at where this money is going, they have so far gone to all the State lodges including the State House and renovated…Ksh.2.8 billion (spent) in three months,” Omondi said.

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