President William Ruto
President William Ruto in Embu County. NMG

On Friday, President William Ruto urged Kenyans to repay the loans they took out from the Hustler Fund while also rallying support for the divisive planned housing fund as a remedy for unemployment.

Dr Ruto said in Embu that the loans with an annual interest rate of 8% must be repaid. He said, "The Hustler money is not gratuitous and needs to be refunded to the government.

He informed Kenyans that the soft loans were given to them so they could launch startups and raise their standard of living.

"We wanted Kenyans to have access to finances so they could profit from the project and not misuse it. Some claim that since they supported me in the election, they are entitled to the money. This is not how things should work. Kenyans must settle their obligations with the allotted funds," he urged.

So that Kenyans might gain even more, he vowed to unveil stage two of the funding during Madaraka Day celebrations.

"In stage two, Kenyans will be able to get anywhere between Sh20,000 and Sh200,000 without collateral," he said.

The Head of State, who was accompanied by his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, said that his administration was committed to giving all Kenyans financial independence.

Seventy per cent of the Sh500 million in loans taken out by Embu people, he said, had been repaid.

He said that to develop Embu town and its surroundings, his administration had invested millions of shillings.

Governor Cecily Mbarire is a dedicated leader who is raising the standard of living for her people, according to Dr Ruto.

Due to Mbarire's competence, "We even elected her as the chairperson of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA)," he stated.

At the exact same time, President Ruto said that the government's strategy to strengthen small and medium-sized businesses and provide low-cost, accessible homes for five million jobless Kenyans was unstoppable.

He bemoaned the fact that millions of Kenyans, the bulk of whom are young, were wandering the streets aimlessly and needed assistance.

"Creating jobs should be deliberate, practical, and planned. It is not a game of hunches," he stated.

In his remarks at the University of Embu's Madaraka Exposition, the President emphasised the need to eradicate unemployment in Kenya.

"The employment we will generate for young people in Kenya is the main driving force behind the housing initiative. For the sake of our struggling young people, we want to generate one million new jobs annually. We can solve Kenya's unemployment issue," he said.

According to him, the number of unemployed Kenyans is rising, and the situation is really concerning.

We must find creative methods to assist the 800,000 young people who finish their education each year but do not have employment, he added.

The Head of State outlined how thousands of Kenyans will find work thanks to the housing plan.

Since we will be building thousands of homes, he continued, "For instance, every house will require five people to construct, meaning a lot of Kenyans will have the opportunity to do that work."

He said that many young people will be incorporated into the job market as a result of the bottom-up economic strategy.

He criticised opponents of affordable housing, claiming that they do not have the best interests of unemployed Kenyans in mind.

It is vital to provide employment for our young generation despite objections from critics, he added. "Some people ask what the urgency of building these houses is, but I'm telling them that my concerns are the five million Kenyans who have no work to do," he said.

He said that young people will work on building the homes that will be constructed all around the nation.

To make a livelihood, other young people will have to provide construction supplies.

Once again, the President claimed that providing inexpensive housing would eliminate the vast slums that are unsuitable for Kenyans.

There are 1,411 slums here, with 6.5 million residents. We have created the housing initiative because we believe that our people should live in sanitary homes.

To raise restrictions, DP Gachagua requests that borrowers return Hustler Fund loans.

Regarding SMEs, the President said that his administration will make significant investments in market development to boost employment and economic growth.

"We will build 181 contemporary marketplaces around the nation so that our dealers may do business without hindrance. He added that there will be 14 county aggregation and industrial parks built where farmers' products may be processed and marketed without cartel intervention.

Additional employment will be produced, according to Dr Ruto, using digital and technological platforms.

The government will set up an ICT centre in each ward where young people can work online.

Youths should be given the tools they need to find internet occupations, he said.

The President emphasised the need to prepare management staff for cooperative societies for responsible money management.

To prevent any misappropriation of the farmers' cash, he ordered that the officials get training.

Dr Ruto gave the Cooperative Cabinet Secretary instructions to immediately put his order into effect.

Attacking the opponents, Mr Gachagua said they were attempting to undermine the housing project.

The president remarked, "President Ruto wants well for Kenyans, but our critics seek to derail his development plan; they should be disregarded.

He said that the opposition offered Kenyans nothing.

The fact is that inexpensive housing will eradicate slums and provide jobs for our people. If cheap housing can't resolve the problems of unemployment and slums, Mr Gachagua invited his critics to present their solutions.

The affordable housing programme was included in the Jubilee agenda, according to the vice president, but the opposition fouled it up.

Mr Gachagua reaffirmed the need to continue the fight against illegal alcohol and narcotics in the Mount Kenya area.

He saw that alcohol and narcotics have caused kids to waste away and that they ought to be eliminated.

These medications have made young men infertile, and our maternity wards remain vacant. It's a severe matter," Mr Gachagua added amid laughter.

Ms Mbarire informed the President that the housing plan had the full support of the people of Embu.

She said, "We think this is a very wonderful concept.

In the National Assembly, Manyatta MP Gitonga Mukunji said that he and his colleagues are prepared to support the affordable housing proposal.

He expressed gratitude to the government for intending to construct the Rukuriri Sporting Complex in his district.

I am a delighted leader because the government will invest a lot of money in this initiative, he said.

The Sh700 million Embu market and housing project was one of the development initiatives in Embu that President Ruto initiated.

Additionally, he inaugurated a brand-new wing at Winas Sacco in Embu town and Embu Level Five Hospital.

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