After taking oath as President of the Republic of Kenya on September 13th at the Kasarani Sports Center, William Ruto embarked on a Public Relations blitz both in public, making ‘popular’ policy orders and behind closed doors, meeting delegations, foreign leaders, diplomats and even at one time ‘severing’ diplomatic ties via a Tweet.
Among the orders Kenya’s new president made was to the Treasury to cut 300 billion shillings ($2.5 billion) from annual government spending this year, to bring the country “back to sanity”. Ruto also said he aimed to bring the recurrent expenditure down further next year by an undisclosed amount, in a bid to achieve a recurrent budget surplus by the third year.
Recurrent expenditure is civil servant salaries, domestic and foreign interest payments, pensions, and fuel costs for government vehicles.
However, three months into his Presidency, William Ruto has created an Office of the First Daughter, for his 32-year-old daughter Charlene Chelagat. An office funded by civilians, complete with members of staff.
If President Ruto wants to run the country like his personal property with a lack of accountability, then every citizen must applaud the creation of Charlene Ruto’s office and ask him to set aside more funds, for the Office of the First Son and maybe, First Niece and Cousin too.
However, conscientious Kenyans seeing William Ruto for who he is must call out his pietism.
It makes no sense whatsoever to stockpile hundreds of millions of taxpayer money for your daughter’s globe-trotting ventures while at the same time, taking away the University education funding from poor JAB students, removing the Unga and fuel subsidies, Kazi Mtaani, and even the cash transfer for the elderly.
As per the new regime’s logic, an Office for First Daughter and its operations is way more crucial than any other problem the 500-shilling government ‘business loan’ cannot solve. Besides, we now have a King every one of us must worship, or else, you will lose government ”opportunities.”
So much for a thriving democracy.