President William Ruto Withdraws The Contentious 2024 Finance Bill

President William Ruto says he will not sign the contentious 2024 Finance Bill into law. He welcomed the loud message from Kenyans protesting against the bill. The President further pledged firm and expeditious anti-graft efforts. “Listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this Finance Bill 2024, I concede, and therefore I will not sign the 2024 Finance Bill, and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,” the President indicated.

He pledged to lead from the front in the implementation of further austerity measures, saying operational expenditure in the three arms of government as well as devolved units must be cut. “In the Presidency and Office of the Presidency. We will reduce confidential votes, travel budgets, hospitality, the purchase of motor vehicles, renovations, and other expenditures,” he stated.

President Ruto pointed out that his administration is committed to listening to the will of the people, assuring that he will be ruthless in dealing with corruption in the country. “We must live within our means, respecting the very loud message that is coming from the people of Kenya. I will have a conversation with stakeholders on this matter as we chart our way forward,” the president said.

The Head of State insisted that various development projects that are pending will face a setback due to budget cuts, given the calls by Kenyans for a ‘leaner’ budget due to harsh economic times.

“Minus the Finance Bill, it means some of the development programmes amounting to Ksh. 200 billion, we will have to cut some, others even delay until next year, and some we will have to cancel because it’s the nature of the things, and Kenyans have said they want a leaner budget,” President Ruto said.

TheNational Treasury had submitted a statement to the National Assembly announcing contingency cuts amounting to Ksh. 1.52 trillion for the 2024–2025 financial year should the bill not sail through. Budget and Appropriation Chairperson Ndindi Nyoro told Members of Parliament that Treasury will have no option but to slash the budget in various sectors due to a financial deficit if the bill hits a snag.