Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, netizens differ over BBC's 'tax collector' article

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura. [File, Standard]

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura has differed sharply with Kenyans on social media, over an article published by the BBC on Monday, December 18.

The article, tittled, “William Ruto: The ‘tax collector’ president sparking Kenyan anger”, highlights the tax hikes and plight of Kenyan business owners amid the high high taxation.

On Wednesday, December 20, Mwaura released a statement dismissing claims made by the article, on grounds that it carried misleading information.

“My office strongly condemns the misleading information carried out in an article as published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The media has published an untrue story on the state of our country's economy, and we would like to clarify…” the statement reads in part.

“President Ruto remains the most popular leader in Kenya, with Kenya Kwanza Coalition as the most preferred political formation by Kenyans, according to recent independent research,”

 In his communique, Mwaura says citizen services fees remain unchanged, the country is a top tourist destination, that the cost of LPG gas has reduced, taxation is low, president is committed in lowering cost of living and that President Ruto has been a global climate change champion.

“Days which the international media would thrive on casting a negative light and stories of doom from Africa through yellow journalism are long gone. We urge the media to remain factual and non-partisan even as they discharge their mandate,” he says.

However, the spokesperson’s statement did not sit well with Kenyans on social media, who trooped to the comment section to express their dissatisfaction with the communique.

Majority of users on the comment section seemed to agree with the BBC report, saying it was accurate and had highlighted the real situation Kenyans were going through.

“Where is the Lie?” an X user responded.

Another said “Did you have to respond to this?”

Miguna Miguna, a Canadian-based legal mind said “You can’t clarify what someone else has published. All you can do is seek clarification, retraction or an apology from the publisher. Communication 101!”

Abala Kinyua said “SURELY Isaac, is it not true that we call Ruto Zakayo?”

“BBC did a splendid job. Keep it up BBC. Keep calling out these clowns. The piece did not paint Kenya in bad light, it called out a self-righteous, egotistic, arrogant and dishonest president who campaigned on a platform to reduce cost of living only to worsen it!,” a user Tita Ket said.

“The story paints the true picture of the situation here,”