President William Ruto begged Busia Senator and activist Okiya Omtatah

On Sunday, President William Ruto begged Busia Senator and activist Okiya Omtatah not to file an appeal concerning the planned housing charge payment according to the Finance Bill, 2023.

The idea asks workers to contribute 3% of their monthly paychecks to President Ruto's grand scheme to build Kenyans affordable houses.

However, some Kenyans are opposed to it, and others are advocating for the fee to be made as an optional contribution. Senator Omtatah is one of them and has forewarned the president against what he termed being duped by his friends.

Dr Ruto, who was present at the ceremony on Sunday, warned the president that the law is not only beneficial to Kenyans but also in violation of the Constitution. The outspoken senator is no stranger to protesting government actions.

"The Finance Bill has both positive and negative elements. Do not allow these folks to mislead you into thinking everything is alright. Many of the unfavourable things contained violate the constitution," said Omtatah.

"Don't allow anybody to mislead you or fool you here. There are parts of the bill where even the Supreme Court has made rulings that should be respected. You are my buddy, Mr President, but I consider the Constitution to be a greater friend."

He then tweeted that he had already drafted a petition to oppose the divisive measure.

But in reaction, President Ruto maintained his plan and pleaded with Kenyans who were "rich" to put up with him, claiming the scheme for inexpensive housing would provide many young people with work around the nation.

"You wealthy folks will have to put up with me on this one; let's deal with the hustlers so they can get something for themselves and Kenya can be inclusive." He turned to the faithful and said, "I want you to assist me in speaking to your senator, Mr Omtatah, please.

"You want to sue me, but all I'm doing is providing these people with jobs; don't you want them to have jobs? Please ask this guy to ease off on the court things, Busia people," Ruto said, adding that he referred to Omtatah as his buddy."

Analysts have opposed the government's proposal, claiming that it would be difficult to enforce the planned house taxes given that the previous one failed and also taking into account Kenyans' difficult economic situation.


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