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President Ruto Bows to Public Pressure, Refuses to Sign Finance Bill 2024

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Mbeki edmond

Jun 26, 2024

President William Ruto rejects and withdraws his own Finance Bill after nationwide protests against over-taxation.

President of Kenya William Ruto

President William Ruto has announced his decision not to sign the controversial Finance Bill 2024, following significant public outcry. In a statement at the State House on Wednesday, alongside allied members of parliament, President Ruto acknowledged the overwhelming opposition from Kenyans.

"Having reflected on the continuing conversation around the content of the Finance Bill 2024, I will decline to assent to the bill," he declared. "Therefore, I will not sign the Finance Bill 2024 and it shall be subsequently withdrawn. I have agreed with these members that this shall become our position."

President Ruto emphasized the importance of engaging with Kenyan youth to understand their perspectives and concerns. "I propose an engagement with young people of our nation to listen to their issues and agree with them on their priority areas of concern," he said.

Looking ahead, the President called for a multi-sectoral discussion on the nation's public debt and future economic policies. "I also propose that within the next 14 days, a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder engagement be held to chart the way forward on matters relating to the content of the bill as well as auxiliary issues raised in recent days on the need for austerity measures and strengthening our fight against corruption," he stated.

In his address, President Ruto also announced immediate austerity measures to cut government spending. "I direct immediate further austerity measures to reduce expenditure, starting with the Executive Office of the President and extending to the entire executive arm of government," he said.

He outlined specific reductions beginning with the Presidency. "I direct that operational expenditure in the Presidency be reduced to remove allocations for the confidential vote, reduce travel budget, hospitality, and purchase of motor vehicles, renovations, and other expenditures," he added.

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