Gachagua: We’d have had an economic shutdown in six months had subsidies continued
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has claimed that maintaining the provision of subsidies for fuel and other items would have caused the country’s economy to shut down in around six months.
Speaking exclusively to NTV’s Ibrahim Karanja, DP Gachagua justified the government’s decision to eliminate subsidies, claiming that it was not viable in the long-term. According to Gachagua, the amount spent on subsidies each year is proportional to the country’s development budget.
“Using Ksh 20 billion every month was not sustainable, we would have gone on for another six months and the country would have shut down. There would be no fuel, there would be no salaries, there would be no food,” Gachagua said.
The deputy president stated that the government urgently needed to invest on agriculture and that the effects would be felt in roughly 2 to 3 months.
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“We need to do a lot to boost production. We must spend a lot of time and money on agriculture and that is the way to go. And I can tell the people of Kenya in another 2-3 months they will start seeing things picking up,” he said.
Gachagua underlined that the government is committed to lowering the cost of living for the benefit of Kenyans, as promised during the campaigns, and requested Kenyans to be patient with Ruto’s government as they were looking into a permanent and sustainable solution.
“We know that we promised to bring the cost of food down, we have not broken those promises. We are on it. It may not be as fast as we may have wanted, because we really did not know the real position at the National Treasury,” Gachagua said.
Gachagua claimed that leaders defected from the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition to join President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza because they were intimidated and mistreated.
“Most people who were in Azimio were not there by choice, they were intimidated by DCI, EACC, KRA, Assets Recovery [Agency], by President Uhuru Kenyatta. They are now finally free, they are the ones looking for us, we did not look for anybody. They were not there by choice. The instruments of intimidation are no longer in the hands of Azimio,” Gachagua said.
When asked about his inauguration speech at Kasarani, the deputy president stated he was telling the truth and that it had nothing to do with anyone.
“My speech at the inauguration was not based on personal differences with Uhuru Kenyatta, I needed to tell the people of Kenya the kind of country we have inherited,” Gachagua said.
“It is important to say it as it is. Anytime I speak, I speak the truth,” he added.