President William Ruto says he doesn’t mind people calling him names because his conscience is clear on his plans for the country.

Since assuming office, the Head of State has earned several nicknames such Nabii (Prophet), Kaunda Uongoman, Abunwasi, and the widely recognized Zakayo, a reference to the Biblical tax collector Zacchaeus.

Addressing Kenyans in Japan on Wednesday, President Ruto defended his perceived stringent tax policies, emphasizing that it is the necessary path to foster the growth of the country.

“If we have to develop our country, Kenyans must roll up their sleeves. Our country is not going to be developed by others, by aid or by debt. It is going to be developed by us. Japan is built by the Japanese using their own taxes. Kenya will be built by Kenyans using our own revenue and taxes,” he said.

No Free Lunch

The President said he is determined to do the right thing for the country irrespective of the names people call him.

“What I will not do as president is say there will be free lunch, that the country is going to be developed by borrowing money from other people, and that it is going to cost us nothing to develop our country,” said Ruto.

“That is why I don’t mind people calling me names. You see when you are doing the right thing, your conscience is clear. I will do the right thing for our country irrespective of what names people call me, including Zakayo.”

President Ruto vowed to safeguard the taxes collected by his government from misappropriation.

“The one thing I have committed myself to do is provide a guarantee that every Kenyan who pays taxes, their money will not be stolen. So long as we collect whatever tax we are collecting and use it to grow our country, it is going to benefit us eventually.”