Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s has looped journalists into the ongoing Finance bill debate.
Rigathi stated that no one in employment, including Journalists will be left out of the proposed 3 per cent housing levy.
“Nyinyi watu wa media mtakatwa, si mko na mishahara. It is only 2,500. Hata mkiendelea kupinga mtakatwa. Kwa sababu hawa watoto wetu lazima wapate kibarua. (You journalists will have the 3 per cent on house levy deducted from your dues. You have a salary. It is only Sh2,500. Even if you continue opposing the proposed bill through the media. The youth must get employment),” he stated.
This is not the first time Rigathi has made scathing remarks targeted at journalists. He has also issued a blanket condemnation on them claiming they supported the opposition during the last general elections that saw President William Ruto announced winner.
Last week during the Madaraka Day celebrations in Embu County, Gachagua chided journalists at the national event, attended by various dignitaries for what he claimed to be the media is siding with the opposition in "inciting the public against the passage of the Finance Bill 2023”.
“The press is leading in spreading gossip just like we saw in 2022 during the general elections when it played part as Azimio brigade,” claimed Gachagua.
His remarks have been castigated with various bodies including the Media Council which through its Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo calling on politicians to refrain from profiling journalists performing their watchdog role.
“Attacking journalists, we believe, is a distraction from important issues that require attention and action. The council takes such acts as attempts to silence or intimidate the media from undertaking its rightful duty,” the MCK boss said in a statement dated Friday, February 24.
Further Gachagua has separately accused the media of ‘failing to move on after Odinga lost in the poll’.
The Finance Bill by recommends among others taxing of content creators, increasing fuel tax (VAT) from the current 8 per cent to 16 on petroleum products.
It also proposes a 3 percent deduction of all employees’ salaries that will be channeled towards building affordable houses for Kenyans.