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Government calls out BBC after publishing article criticizing Ruto

Government spokesman Isaac Mwaura protests BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) article referring to Ruto as a tax collector president.

Kenya’s government spokesman Isaac Mwaura has moved to discredit a publication run by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in which President William Ruto’s presumed governance miscalculations have been highlighted. 

Mwaura on Wednesday revealed that President William Ruto has engaged over 270,000 youth in the job sector since taking over the reins from former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

This comes after BBC headlined the story as “William Ruto: The ‘tax collector’ president sparking Kenyan anger”. 

According to the publication, Kenyans had grown a disdain against their president owing to his style of leadership characterized by inflated taxation and wasteful spending in the face of a limping economy. 

“But many Kenyans are not in agreement with him. The pain of taxes dominates everyday conversations, especially with the rising cost of living. They also say the taxes are only helping to fund extravagance in government rather than improve public services,” reads an excerpt. 

To bail itself out, the article based its contents on statistics from various credible sources. 

For instance, the BBC cited the Controller of Budget’s findings which showed billions had been gobbled up in domestic and foreign travel. 

It also referenced a report by the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) which showed that “over 70,000 private-sector jobs have been lost amid a drastic rise in operating costs, and the closure of some businesses”. 

However, in a stern rebuttal to BBC publication, Mwaura exonerated the government of the shortcomings saying much had been accomplished for the long the Ruto has been in office.

He said President William Ruto has engaged over 270,000 youth in the job sector since taking office.

In addition, the government spokesperson noted that the president had successfully negotiated 350,000 job vacancies abroad expected to be filled by Kenyans in the coming months.

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Mwaura revealed that Ruto is the ‘most committed leader that Kenya has ever had.’

“President Ruto is the most committed leader that Kenya has ever had in implementing ‘the plan’, a manifesto that is aimed at transforming Kenya. 

He has kept his promise of creating job opportunities for Kenyans. It’s thus untrue that there is a net job loss,” read the statement in part.

Mwaura also raised concerns over facts covered in the article, including claims that the state had hiked charges to obtain birth and death certificates.

“There are no new charges for acquiring birth & death certificates, passports, and National Identity cards. The fees remain unchanged,” added the statement.

Seeking to justify the existing tax regimes, the spokesperson explained that Kenyans were after being self-reliant through raising own revenue at the expense of procuring debts to fund development in the country. 

He however pointed out that the taxation in Kenya, a third-world country in the global south, was below par compared with developed economies like the United Kingdom.

“Kenya’s inflation remains low at 6.8% compared to other countries, with the World Bank ranking the country as the 29th fastest growing economy in the world.”

On taxation, we remain lower at 36% compared to other countries such as the UK, whose taxation is over 45%,” he stated. 

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