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Ruto abandons populist election promises

Ruto abandons populist election promises

 

President William Ruto’s administration appears to have given up on populist promises made during the campaign to win over voters as the reality of competing governance interests dawned on him.

The President is also advancing unpopular policies, such as higher gasoline prices, which he had vowed to eliminate, in addition to renouncing particular populist promises whose deadlines have passed eight months after he took office.

 

Dr. Ruto created a platform called “The Plan,” which he described as the remedy to failures by his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, while riding a rising wave fueled by dissatisfaction with the high cost of living.

Quick wins that were to be implemented between 100 days and six months after taking government were outlined in the manifesto.

 

As soon as he came into power, he immediately upheld his promise to the judiciary by appointing the six judges that his predecessor had refused to swear into office.

 

The Head of State also established the Judiciary Fund and pledged to increase funding for the judiciary by an additional Sh3 billion per year for the following five years.

The National Police Service (NPS) now has financial independence thanks to an executive order approved by the president, with the Inspector General serving as the Accounting Officer.

Ruto abandons populist election promises

Dr. Ruto’s promise to release the law enforcement agencies from executive control was kept when the police budget was separated from the parent ministry.

 

However, the President has not only broken some of the other promises; with the contentious Finance Bill 2023, which increases taxes, including a 16% value added tax on fuel, he has taken a completely different course from the one he had portrayed during the campaign.

The President has defended his administration’s tax policy, stating that the new levies will only slightly raise the tax as a percentage of GDP from 14% to 16%, which is still significantly lower than Kenya’s African counterparts, where tax percentages range from 22% to 28%.

 

As part of his efforts to bring down the cost of living, President Ruto has frequently mentioned the Sh3.5 billion in subsidised fertilizer and the Sh25 billion injected into the economy as incentives for unga, cooking oil, rice, and beans.

 

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