President William Ruto’s pronouncements on the successes of the multi-billion-shilling Hustler Fund have elicited mixed reactions from the political class.
Ruto on Thursday said one year after its inception, the fund has disbursed Sh39.7 billion to Sh21.8 million people and mobilised Sh2 billion in savings. He added that total repayments stood at Sh28.75 billion, with the fund positively impacting the lives of Kenyans.
Leaders from across the political divide have now chimed in on the financial inclusion programme, with the Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition clashing with the ruling Kenya Kwanza Alliance on its efficiency.
Legislators allied to Raila are now calling for the scrapping of the Hustler Fund while their Kenya Kwanza Alliance counterparts have moved to justify the positive impact the fund has had through the provision of cheap loans.
Saboti MP Caleb Amisi yesterday discredited the gains of the fund terming it an ill-thought-out fiscal plan that should be abolished.
“There is no change in the lives of Kenyans who have accessed the Hustler fund. There is no measurability to show what the fund has done in terms of the fund elevating a person’s life from one stage to the next,” said Amisi.
He likened the fund to “daylight thievery” by the current regime.
“When the fund was being implemented it had no economic planning and this rendered its implementation hot air. The fund should be abolished and the kitty turned into another fund for the less fortunate in society,” added Amisi.
Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi (pictured) dubbed the Hustler Fund a political tool for the Kenya Kwanza administration and questioned the loan amounts given to borrowers.
“There is nothing serious happening around the Hustler fund. The amount of loans being issued is not enough to change the lives of the borrowers. The fund is a political tool for the Kenya Kwanza administration meant to keep it afloat and not meant to help Kenyans,” said Atandi.
“The transformation Ruto promised is far off from what is happening on the ground. This is a busybody project that should be done away with. With loan amounts of Sh500, no meaningful development will come from the same.”
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua questioned what the Kenya Kwanza administration sought to achieve with the programme.