Ruto rallies Kenya Kwanza MPs to back Housing Levy

President William Ruto speaks during the joint National Executive Retreat and Parliamentary Group consultative meeting in Naivasha, Nakuru County. [@WilliamsRuto/X]

President William Ruto has met with Kenya Kwanza MPs and executive members in Naivasha, ahead of a crucial vote on the Housing Levy in Parliament.

The meeting, held at Lake Naivasha Resort on Monday, February 19, was aimed at rallying the political faction to support the government’s plan to deduct 1.5 per cent of the gross salary of all employed Kenyans to fund affordable housing projects.

Ruto defended his economic agenda, saying he was committed to easing the national debt, widening the tax base and minimizing borrowing. He also dismissed his critics, saying he was confident of taking Kenya to greater heights.

“I know some of us get discouraged, anxious because of [the] exigencies of moments. I want to tell you that we are going to take Kenya where we’ve always wanted Kenya to be,” Ruto said.

“The transformation of a country requires men and women who can confront situations and look at what is right not what is popular or convenient," he added.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who also attended the meeting, took a swipe at former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had recently criticised the Kenya Kwanza style of governance.

“I heard somebody saying that you should not look at the rear mirror. I want to encourage you to keep looking at the rearview mirror because the inventor of the motor vehicle was not mad by putting the rearview mirror,” he said, referring to Uhuru’s remarks on Saturday.

“In your leadership your Excellency you have made it clear that no Kenyan should be left behind. So, you have to continuously continue looking at the rear mirror to ensure all Kenyans are on board and are not left behind.”

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah urged the Kenya Kwanza MPs to be present in Parliament for the vote on the Housing Levy, which he said was scheduled before the next payroll.

The vote comes weeks after the courts blocked the government’s plan to implement the levy.