President William Ruto addressed concerns from Kenyans over what his government plans to do in order to lower the cost of living which is currently soaring.
President Ruto, speaking during a roundtable interview with a host of journalists at State House on Wednesday, said his priority is to first ensure that the country produces enough food that can enable it sustain itself.
To this end, the Head of State disclosed that – since his assumption to office – his administration has been shipping in fertilizer and selling them to farmers so that they can embark on producing food.
“I told Kenyans that with the rising cost of living, the solution is to ensure we produce enough food.” That’s the perfect remedy to eliminate the cost of living problem. When we held elections on August 9, the price of flour for example was 230 shillings per two kg bag, that is a record that has never been reached, and it affected many Kenyans. I said at the time that we will work on reducing the cost of living,” he said.
The first thing I did after taking the axe, for those farmers who farm what is called short rains, we ordered one and a half million bags of the first fertilizer to help them produce food, and we reduced the cost of that fertilizer. From six thousand shillings to three thousand and five hundred shillings. “
The President also noted that the government is also planning to import food products that are currently in short supply across the country in order to bridge the gap.
He added that his administration further put down its foot and eliminated brokers who he said have for a long time been benefitting from government initiatives at the expense of the farmers themselves.
“The second step I took was to plan how we could import those foods that we lack in our nation,and to brake the brokers and cartels who were raising prices every dawn,and that’s why from 230 shillings,flour now It’s almost Ksh.190 per 2kg bag. I want to tell you that this election could have gone differently, maybe by now flour would have been three hundred shillings,” said President Ruto.
The Head of State went on to reveal that he resolved to remove the subsidies that had been put in place by the previous administration as they were what he termed as mere political and campaign gimmicks.
According to President Ruto, the various subsidies were costing the taxpayers too much money and were not sustainable.
“Wakenya wengi wanashangaa mbona mimi niliondoa ile subsidy ilikuwa kwa mambo ya kawi…ile uamuzi wa kuweka subsidy ilikuwa wa kisiasa, wa kutafuta kura…haikuwa ni uamuzi wa kiuchumi,” he stated.
“Ile subsidy ya unga ilianguka kwa sababu ilikuwa inatugharimu bilioni nane kila mwezi, subsidy ya fuel ilikuwa ilikuwa inatugharimu bilioni 16 kila mwezi, subsidy ya stima ilikuwa inatugharimu karibu bilioni tatu kila mwezi…ukiongeza hizo subsidy zote ni karibu bilioni 15 kwa mwezi, na bilioni mia tatu kwa mwaka. Na hiyo pesa yote si eti tuko nayo, ni pesa ya kukopa.”