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Wanjigi disputes Uhuru's economy talk, seeks 'truth'

NATIONAL
By Jacob Ng'etich | December 5th 2021

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of lying to Kenyans about the country's economy during the State of the Nation address last week.

Speaking after attending a service at ACK St Paul’s Karen West (Karinde), Wanjigi said the country was in a deep hole, with the economy in the Intensive Care Unit.

"Up ahead there are very weighty issues. The President needed to be truthful. You cannot rewrite history; what Uhuru told Kenyans was not in tandem with what is on the ground, and what was real in this country. That was fake economy," he said.

The businessman said Uhuru told Kenyans that former president Mwai Kibaki grew the economy to Sh4.7 trillion, yet statistics from the Central Bank indicated it grew to Sh6.7 trillion.

"We want facts, not dreams and fantasies. The State of the Nation Address is the moment to tell Kenyans the truth and not lies, and not our false state of things," said Wanjigi.

The businessman said Uhuru, while campaigning in 2017, told Kenyans he had constructed 10,000km of roads, but last week said his government had done 10,800km, meaning in four years he had only constructed 800kms.

 "What we know for sure is that the level of debt has grown to very wild levels when the President cannot clearly show where the money he borrowed went to. Cost of living has gone up and the productivity has hit rock bottom," he said.

Wanjigi, who is eyeing the presidency, asked Uhuru to stop aiding further nosediving of the economy.

He said former President Moi (deceased) left the economy at Sh1 trillion, while the debt was Sh600 billion, according to CBK figures. He said Kibaki grew the GDP from Sh1 trillion to Sh6.7 trillion and left a debt of Sh1.8 trillion. 

"Uhuru has grown the economy by Sh2 trillion, but debt has grown to Sh9 trillion. When you add parastatals, it goes to Sh11 trillion. For every Sh900 you make, you have a debt of Sh1,100. The exchange rate, petrol prices, electricity, food, and kerosene prices have only gone up," said Wanjigi.

For every Sh500, he said Kenyans pay in tokens, Sh200 goes to tax.

He warned that by the end of next year, Sh300 of every Sh500 would be going to tax "because our economic crisis is only worsening."

"The President spoke the other day about the economy. But, what we see and feel is contradictory. We are in an economic crisis, and up ahead is even worse. He made us doubt if we were living in Kenya, given the figures he was giving," said Wanjigi.

Wanjigi, who is seeking the ODM presidential ticket, urged Kenyans to choose wisely.

"In this type of crisis, where will wheelbarrows and Sh6,000 handouts take you? Can they be an answer? That's why we are saying the nation needs an economic revolution now. This is a phase in our nation about business and the economy," said Wanjigi. 

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