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Azimio demands Ruto’s resignation, calls for Sh1.4 trillion budget cut

Leaders of the opposition coalition, Azimio la Umoja, have intensified calls for President William Ruto to resign, accusing his government of fiscal irresponsibility and corruption.

The lawsuit comes as they push for a drastic reduction in the proposed national budget, amid widespread protests and growing public discontent.

Addressing the press in Parliament on Tuesday, ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna, flanked by coalition allies, lashed out at the Ruto administration for what they claim is an inflated budget marred by corruption.

They advocate cutting the budget from Sh3.9 trillion to Sh2.5 trillion, claiming that more than Sh1 trillion has been earmarked for dubious purposes.

“This clueless government must go back to the drawing board,” proclaimed Senator Godfrey Osotsi, highlighting the coalition’s rejection of what they describe as budget allocations that favor corruption.

“Take that money out of the budget and come to us with a budget of Sh2.5 trillion and then we can talk.”

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna delivers speech on April 10, 2023

Photo

Edwin Sifuna

The opposition’s stance reflects widespread discontent among Kenyans, manifested in the ongoing protests across the country, now entering their third day.

These demonstrations, largely driven by young people, are opposed to the 2024 finance bill, citing concerns about rising tax burdens amid an already precarious cost of living crisis.

“The entire country has risen up saying ‘Ruto must go,'” Sifuna said. He added: “President Ruto, from Sugoi to the coast, has failed in his duty to the Kenyan people. He must resign.”

Echoing Osotsi’s sentiment, he added: “Give us our country back or we will take it away from you.”

The budget, presented by Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u on Friday, June 14, aims to address Kenya’s economic challenges, projecting a growth rate of 5.5 percent for the next fiscal years.

Ndung’u emphasized a reduction in the fiscal deficit to 3.3 percent of GDP, down from 5.7 percent a year earlier, amid efforts to stabilize the economy after the pandemic and mitigate climate-related shocks.

Critics argue, however, that the budget allocations do not address the fundamental economic problems faced by ordinary Kenyans. With protests intensifying and parliamentary deliberations underway, the nation finds itself at a crossroads, torn between fiscal responsibility and growing public demands for accountability.

Finance Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u poses for a photo before the presentation of the 2024/2025 budget

Photo

National Treasure

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