President William Ruto has downplayed the purported moniker ‘Zakayo,’ saying he is unbothered by it so long as Kenyans continue to pay their taxes.

Ruto, who spoke on Wednesday during the 59th International Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi, reiterated his awareness of the nickname christened by Kenyans on social media, instead urging citizens to be faithful in paying their dues.

The President argued that the nation could only move forward economically if it was self-sustained through its revenue collection and not sourcing external loans to fund projects.

He thus urged Kenyans to accept his administration’s seemingly tough ways and brace themselves to remit their dues faithfully.“Kuitwa Zakayo si shida, bora tulipe ushuru tunaweza kusonga mbele; Zakayo ni jina tu, there is no problem.

Bora tujenge Kenya hii na watu wapate manyumba, tuwe na Universal Health Coverage and our youths secure employement, Zakayo ni jina, let’s move forward, no problem,” Ruto said.

“We will be lying to ourselves, we have lied to ourselves for a very long time that a country can be developed through loans from other countries. It is not possible!”

He added: “I have to be brutally honest to my fellow citizens that we must face up to the reality and build our country with our energy, knowledge, talent, effort, our plan and with our taxes.”

Netizens came up with the ‘Zakayo’ byname which is derived from the Biblical tax collector, Zacchaeus, following a myriad of taxes introduced by the current regime.President Ruto came out at the time and revealed that he was aware of the name, and instead, vowed to put the name to use per its origin.

He maintained that imposing taxes on Kenyans was “the right thing”, adding that they are a “painful” but worthy sacrifice on the road to long-term development of a country.


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