Why Billionaire Businessman Narendra Raval Wishes Ruto Would Be President for 25 Years

April 9, 2024
President Ruto and tycoon Narendra Raval during the opening of the Cemtech Clinker Plant in West Pokot on April 8, 2024.

President William Ruto has a big fan in the renowned Kenyan industrialist Narendra Raval, who wishes his presidency would last for at least two and a half decades.

On Monday, the Founder and Chair of the Devki Group of Companies described Ruto as a passionate leader who will bring change to Kenya. Raval prayed for the Head of State to have a long life, mentioning that he was at a loss for words on how to thank him.

“I have no words to say but to thank him. He loves us so much, he loves this country. God give him 100 years of life, I wish that we have this president for 25 years…mahali ingine iko miaka mingi sana, if we have him hii inchi itabadilika sana,”  the billionaire said.

Raval, 62, was speaking in West Pokot during the commissioning of the Kes.45 billion Cemtech Limited clinker plant, a subsidiary of the Devki Group.

During the event presided over by President William Ruto, Pokot South MP David Pkosing, in his address after the businessman, proposed amending the law to allow a 25-year Ruto administration.

A live broadcast of the event captured President Ruto’s amused reaction as he chuckled with his palm on his head in response to MP Pkosing’s remarks.

Ruto Praises Narendra Raval

Ruto on his part lauded Raval as a true patriot dedicated to the nation’s progress.

“Guru is my great friend and he believes in our country. Not all people are this patriotic to the extent investing such huge money in such a project.

“That level of commitment, investment and paying taxes demonstrates immeasurable patriotism to the republic of Kenya and I want to say to my friend Raval congratulations,” Ruto said.

The Cemtech clinker plant, located in Kipkomo, is poised to generate an estimated 6,000 metric tons of clinker daily, a crucial ingredient in cement production. With an annual production capacity projected at two million tons of clinker, it aims to supply the entirety of East Africa.

This marks another major coup for the Devki Group, which already has an iron grip on the steel and cement sectors, with subsidiaries across East and Central Africa.

Narendra Raval, who made the 2015 Forbes list of Africa’s 50 richest with an estimated net worth of $400M at the time, has been a key ally of President William Ruto’s administration.

Narendra Raval Endorses Ruto’s Finance Act

Last year, he endorsed the contentious Finance Act of 2023, even asking the High Court to be enjoined in the government’s defence of the law, which introduces fundamental changes to Kenya’s tax regime.

Mr Raval submitted that Section 70 of the Finance Act, 2023, which outlines the Export and Investment Promotion Levy applicable to all imported goods, will serve to promote local manufacturing by offering incentives.

The businessman further argued that the country experiences an annual loss of over Kes.800 million due to the importation of steel products, factoring in the impact of varying exchange rates.

Raval also mentioned that the importation of cheap and substandard steel products renders manufacturing in Kenya unsustainable.

In February of last year, President Ruto appointed Narendra Raval to head the steering committee of the National Lotteries taskforce.

Also Read – Billions Up for Grabs as National Lottery Gets Green Light from Parliamentary Committee

As a devout philanthropist, Narendra Raval endeared himself to the people at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when he stopped steel production to produce and donate Kes.100 million worth of oxygen to public hospitals.

The supposed modest billionaire, who neither owns a wallet, ATM card, nor credit card, supports a string of orphanages, children’s homes, government schools, and children from poor backgrounds.

Narendra Raval has in the past publicly committed to allocating 50 percent of his wealth to charity and the remaining 50 percent to his children.

Don't Miss