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VAT debate healthy for Kenya, says DP Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto arrives for a service at Consolata Shrine on Sunday, September 23, 2018. /DPPS
Deputy President William Ruto arrives for a service at Consolata Shrine on Sunday, September 23, 2018. /DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto has said the ongoing public outcry over 8 per cent VAT on petroleum products is healthy for a democratic country.

Ruto on Sunday said Kenyans have the power and authority to determine the affairs of their country.

He said the government will, however, ensure prudent use of the funds that will be collected from the taxation amid efforts to ensure Kenyans get value for their money.

Ruto made the comments during a Sunday Service at the Consolata Shrine in Westlands.

"We have to take charge of how our development goes forward and it also means that we must be accountable," he said.

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He said the government will take stern action against businessmen who are abusing the new tax levies on fuel to exploit innocent Kenyans.

"We have asked the National Transport and Safety Authority to take action against matatus that will be found to exploit Kenyans; their operating licenses will be cancelled."

The DP, while later speaking in Narok, further appealed to Kenyans to play an active role in the development and unity of the country.

"It is healthy that we all make our contribution and work together towards building bridges of friendship, brotherhood, and unity."

Ruto maintained that as the public express their desperation over high taxes, the government is committed to seeing wastage reduced and resources put in viable projects.

The DP's sentiments were echoed by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa who said the decisions made by leaders are meant to propel Kenya’s economy forward.

Ichung’wa said it is the responsibility of all Kenyans to pay taxes "if we are to develop".

The legislator said they would not allow some politicians to arm-twist Kenyans with the call for the review of the Constitution.

"Any amendment to the Constitution must be informed by the needs of the country not the personal whims of some leaders who want to create positions for themselves."

"Kenyans cannot be burdened by extra pays for funny seats like Prime Ministers," he said.

Elgeyo Marakwet and Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen said Kenyans must appreciate the country's development in the last six years.

"Let us not allow ourselves to be held back by the anger that will not shape our future. We must learn to criticise constructively," he said.

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