Government Spokesman Censures BBC Report Targeting Ruto Over Kenya Economy

December 21, 2023

Government Spokesman Isaac Mwaura criticized the purportedly misleading information presented in an article by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) regarding the state of the country’s economy. The international media powerhouse criticized the President for his taxation measures in the country.

But Mwaura stated that the article was untrue and involved a serious misrepresentation of facts.

In a Wednesday statement, Mwaura urged the media to maintain factual and non-partisan reporting as they fulfill their mandate. He also emphasized that the Government of Kenya values press freedom and recognizes the media’s role in shaping public opinion.

Mwaura added that the era in which international media thrived on portraying Africa negatively through yellow journalism is long gone.

“It is a serious misrepresentation of facts, Kenya is a free country and we allow the freedom of the press. However, it is also good for the International media to represent facts when it comes to what is happening in the country,” he said.

“I want to remind the media house that the first visitor from the United Kingdom to come to Kenya was the King. If Kenya didn’t have a positive reputation in the world, I don’t think the Kinga and the Queen would have chosen Kenya.”

Mwaura provided further clarification on the article as follows:
  1. President Ruto continues to be the most popular leader in Kenya, with the Kenya Kwanza Coalition being the most preferred political formation, as indicated by recent independent research.
  2. President Ruto is the most dedicated leader Kenya has ever had in implementing ‘THE PLAN,’ a manifesto aimed at transforming Kenya. He has fulfilled his promise of creating job opportunities for Kenyans. Contrary to claims of a net job loss, over 270,000 Kenyans, particularly the youth, have been engaged by the government. This includes over 56,000 employed as teachers, 100,000 Community Health Promoters (CHPs), and 120,000 jobs created through the affordable housing program in 33 sites alone. Additionally, the president has negotiated for over 350,000 jobs for Kenyans to work abroad.
  3. There are no new charges for acquiring birth and death certificates, passports, and National Identity cards. The fees remain unchanged.
  4. Kenya remains a top tourist destination in Africa, with British King Charles choosing our country as his first visit upon ascending to the throne. Furthermore, over 1.48 million international visitors have come to our country this year alone. The new VISA-free entry policy starting in January 2024 is expected to attract over 2.5 million visitors in the short term and 4.5 million tourists by 2026/2027, doubling our tourism revenue by 200%.
  5. Kenya remains committed to clean and sustainable energy. The cost of LPG gas has considerably decreased, and the prices of maize flour, milk, and other basic commodities have also come down.
  6. Kenya’s inflation remains low at 6.8%, compared to other countries, with the World Bank ranking the country as the 29th fastest-growing economy globally.
  7. Regarding taxation, Kenya’s rate is lower at 36% compared to other countries such as the UK, with taxation exceeding 45%.               “Kenyans want to be self-reliant rather than depending on borrowing and this can only be achieved through financing our own budget.”
  8. The government has implemented significant budget cuts of more than 10% for the year 2023/24, with foreign travel being the most affected.
  9. President Ruto is committed to lowering the cost of living through a deliberate strategy of subsidizing production over consumption. According to a World Bank report released on Tuesday, Kenya is among the few countries least impacted by food inflation.
  10. President Ruto has emerged as a critical voice and champion in Africa and the world in matters of Climate Change, intra-African trade, reform of the international financial architecture, providing security to Haiti, etc., and has been recognized for these efforts.

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