Ruto’s Obsession With Forced Housing Levy is becoming a Complete Insanity for him. He Knows he is Losing

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Singapore Was A Slum Like Kibera,’ President Ruto Says As He Defends Housing Fund

Ruto is losing the Housing Fund Levy by a huge margin. It is dead and Ruto knows that. It puts his entire 2023/24 budget on a crisis mode.

Here is what the media says and it shows Ruto has no idea what he is doing and even worse no clue where to go next. That is his problem.

President William Ruto has come out to defend the proposed Housing Fund while reiterating his past remarks on borrowing Singapore’s model to actualize the affordable and decent houses for Kenyans.

Addressing the press at State House during the Presidential Economic Dialogue on Value Chains on Friday, President Ruto lightly quoted opposition leader Raila Odinga’s past utterances that Singapore was once the same level as Kenya at independence.

In the same way, the Head of State added that Singapore was once a slum like Kenya’s Kibra, but has been able to give a new face to the country’s housing sector by making difficult decisions.

He thus compared Kenya to the Asian country saying we ought to make the same decisions for us to move in a similar direction.

“I am very amazed I received the Prime Minister of Singapore. The great place we keep talking about, you know ‘they were with us, we were in the same place in 1963 today it is in the first world,” he said.

“Singapore was a slum like Kibera. All of you know and have seen pictures. It was like Kibera but they made some difficult decisions and that is why they are where they are and we are where we are, it is as simple as that.”

He added: “Between us and Singapore, the gap is the ability to make decisions. So how can we be celebrating Singapore? They managed to overcome the housing challenge.”

The President consequently condemned Kenya’s nature of not being risky with decisions, intimating that he was getting impatient with indecisiveness. 

He, therefore, urged the nation to embrace making tough decisions in order to achieve great results.

“85 percent of the people of Singapore today own a home while less than 5 percent in Kenya today own a home. We are celebrating Singapore because they made a decision on housing, we don’t want to make the decision and yet we want to become like Singapore. How is that going to happen? Not even by miracles,” he stated.

During Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Loong visit last month, President Ruto said that Kenya would borrow notes from Asian country while implementing the affordable housing project.

“We have agreed to actively explore methods of acquiring knowledge and support from Singapore’s highly prosperous housing model,” said President Ruto at the time.

“Singapore has one of the most successful stories on matters of public housing. The PM has informed me that 85% of all Singaporeans live in decent and affordable public housing.”

Did Singapore impose a tax levy on citizens to build houses? Of course not. Singapore decided to run a clean and efficient government to serve their people.

Their leaders did not grab land from the public and become billionaire politicians. That is how they solved their economic and housing problems in Singapore. Ruto knows that is not in his political DNA. So why not just grab more public money through forced Housing levy?

It is not working as planned by Ruto.

And here comes Omtatah

“This is a war on the Republic of Kenya, it is a fight for the soul of this country, and we are not going to shy from it,” he said at the floor of the Senate Wednesday.

In a suit filed under a certificate of urgency Friday, Omtatah faults the Executive for usurping the roles of both the taxman and the two Houses of Parliament.

He argues that President William Ruto is forcing the passage of the Bill which he says amounts to coercing Kenyans to pay tax irregularly.

In this case, the Senator has enlisted over 30 articles of the Constitution which risks being violated if the Bill is passed.

“Earlier today I filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of Finance Bill, 2023. There are clear limitations that cannot be breached when doing taxation. You cannot force somebody to save. You cannot force somebody to join an association”, said Omtatah after filing the lawsuit.

This comes at a time the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning has finalized public hearings on the Bill.

The Committee, led by Molo MP Kimani Kuria, has for the last nine days been receiving submissions and memoranda from organized groups and individuals on various proposals contained in the Bill that provides for various ways of financing the 2023/24 Budget.

The Committee is now expected to engage the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on thorny issues raised by respondents during the hearings before retreating to write its report.

Thereafter, the report is expected to be tabled in the National Assembly for consideration.

The Bill has an approval timeline of June 30, 2023 and will come into effect from July 1, 2023 if enacted into law.

Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and  Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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