Ruto is considering a handshake with Azimio leader Raila Odinga despite being against it according to his Chief Economic Advisor David Ndii.
David Ndii, the chief economic advisor to President William Ruto, disclosed on Saturday, April 8, that the head of state was considering a handshake with Azimio la Umoja Leader Raila Odinga, despite having opposed the idea in the past.
Ndii claimed in a series of pronouncements that a handshake was feasible, particularly in light of Kenya’s economic situation.
He claimed that Ruto’s top priorities were a politically stable environment and a strong national economy that would benefit every link in the chain.
“I have news for you. The first obligation of a government is survival and political stability. The more the dynasties foment destabilization, the more we will have to spend on political capital.
David Ndii was responding to concerned citizens who demanded answers on the state of the economy, especially, in the wake of delayed salaries for public servants and employees in parastatals.
“If push comes to shove, a handshake is always an option. How much do you think that will cost?” Ndii asked those who were trolling Ruto’s government.
As the chairman of the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors, he also defended the government’s wage bill regarding the appointment of 50 Cabinet Administrative Secretaries (CAS).
This is after Kenyans questioned President Ruto’s recent decisions to increase the number from 22 in President (Rtd) Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime to 50 in his.
“Retrench the 50 CAS. Not needed. These are gifts to political supporters. Rutos does not need them for re-election. They are only 50 votes.
“(Prime CS Musalia) Mudavadi’s wife does not need an office, (duties) that line ministries can take. Austerity savings does not mean expanding govt,” a concerned citizen, Francis Hunt, responded to Ndii.
In Ruto’s defence, Ndii claimed that the 50 CASs salaries and allowances did not constitute a significant part of the national wage bill.
Raila had earlier demanded the government revisit the 2008 National Accord which birthed the 2010 Grand Coalition Government. The former Prime Minister argued that a bipartisan approach via Parliament would not address the key issues facing the country.
Kenyans also demanded answers over reports that salaries for public servants had adversely been delayed across all government departments.
Some Kenyans found offence in Ndii’s insinuation that President Ruto had to choose between serving the loans acquired by the previous regime or paying the salaries.
The Economic Advisor claimed that the government was financially constrained at a time when there was a need for proper structural adjustments.
“Is public finance that difficult? It’s reported every other day, debt service is consuming 60 percent of revenue. Liquidity crunches come with the territory.
“When maturities bunch up, or revenue falls short, or markets shift, something has to give. Salaries or default? Take your pick,” Ndii stated.