The State has ignored people's cries: Karua

Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua (centre). She questioned the competence of Cabinet Secretaries in advising the Presidency. [Robert Tomno,Standard]

Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua has said there is no justification for additional punitive taxes on the already overburdened and neglected populace and urged  Kenyans to continue fighting for the country’s survival.

“The reality of the Finance Bill 2024 represents a bouquet of new pains for Kenyans and our question is, will the brutal regime and Parliament listen to the cries of the people with regard to this Bill?” she posed.

She accused President William Ruto’s Government of ignoring the cries of the public despite its role being to prioritize the needs of Kenyans.

According to Karua, elected leaders exist to serve the people and not their personal whims or fantasies and issues with the government’s questionable spending on personal luxury items and exorbitant travel, saying it speaks volumes of who they serve.

“We are talking of the Ruto regime's half-year assessment, farce and failures. We are halfway through the year and in urgent need of taking stock of where we as a country are going and what we need to do. Unfortunately, 2024 is laden with a litany of government mistruths, failures and greed that has become the hallmark of the Ruto regime,” she regretted.

Some of the areas of mismanagement that Karua flagged are public resources, poor flooding and disaster response, and the housing levy among others, which she said have an underwhelming score.

She questioned the competence of Cabinet Secretaries in advising the Presidency and also the County Executives for Governors.

“You cannot appoint unqualified persons and then burden Kenyans with multiple offices of advisors. It is utterly inhumane proposing highly punitive taxes which are projected to cripple businesses, thereby causing job losses, at a time when unemployment, especially among the youth, is exponentially high,” she noted.

Currently, Karua said there has been conspicuous consumption by the political elites while many Kenyans are dying on roads and hospitals because they are too poor to stay alive while others, “are dying in hospitals and dispensaries that lack drugs, in villages that lack anti-malarial bed nets, in houses that lack safe drinking water.”

Despite the sufferings, she said the Government is busy making a budget for itself in violation of Article 2 or 3 of the Constitution and Article 43, whereas budget making is about the right choices that can lead to a much safer Kenya.

“It is certainly not for the ordinary Mwananchi. They serve themselves,” she noted.

She said the 2024/25 budget should focus on the country’s growth as opposed to further overburdening Kenyans and should be about ending poverty and putting the country on a growth trajectory.