Musalia Mudavadi: The agony of high living costs will be with us for some time.
Kenyans have been asked to be patient with the administration of President William Ruto.
According to Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, the challenges of high living costs that Kenyans are currently experiencing will be a short-term annoyance that will be quickly replaced by large gains from investments in food production.
He blamed the country's current economic difficulties on former President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration, in which President Ruto served as Deputy President, claiming that it had lived beyond its means.
"The high cost of living is an inherited deluge from a government that lived beyond its means, a headache left to us by the previous government." It wasn't by chance, but by commission and omission. "You cannot honestly attribute the current pain that Kenyans are experiencing to this government," Mr Mudavadi said in an interview.
He claimed that the Ruto administration was shifting its strategy from "feeding on an empty consumption trough to filling the production granary."
Gain and pain
"The pain will last for a while, but there will be gain in the end." "If we maintain production support, basic consumer goods prices will fall due to increased supply," he said.
He claimed, without providing evidence, that the outgoing regime used "scorched-earth policy" to set up Dr Ruto's administration for failure.
"This is where serious policy decisions will have to be made to get the economy back on track while lowering living costs."
Mr Mudavadi informed Kenyans that a number of austerity measures would be implemented, not to harm the people, but to assist in "cleaning up the mess" left by the previous administration.
"We live in an economy in which over 1.4 million people are unemployed, nearly 4 million are underemployed, and many more are joining these ranks." We are squandering talent that could help build the country.
"We intend to invest in ventures that will provide jobs for these Kenyans." We are establishing structures to support close to 10 million informal sector workers - mama mbogas, hawkers, mkokoteni pushers - who are frequently left out of government service delivery in order to foster and uplift them. "We are excited to invest in this informal sector in order to grow it and make larger contributions to the economy," he said.
He claimed that the opposition Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance was deceiving Kenyans by claiming that Dr. Ruto's regime wanted to increase their tax burden.
President Ruto has gone on record as ordering the public to pay taxes as the government ramps up revenue collection in order to meet its Sh6 trillion collection target by 2027.
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