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President Cuts Funding For First Lady’s Office, Others To Save Funds



President Ruto Dissolves Cabinet

In response to massive nationwide protests, President William Ruto of Kenya has announced significant budget cuts, including the elimination of funding for the Office of the First Lady, Rachael Ruto, among others.

The cuts, totaling 177 billion shillings, are part of a broader effort to address economic challenges in the fiscal year that began in July.

Following weeks of protests that erupted over planned tax hikes, the Kenyan government has also decided to increase borrowing by 169 billion shillings. This move is intended to bridge the 346 billion shilling gap left by the withdrawal of the controversial finance bill, which initially triggered the unrest.

The demonstrations, which started peacefully but later turned violent, have posed the most significant challenge to Ruto’s presidency since he took office two years ago. Human rights organizations have reported hundreds of arrests and at least 39 deaths attributed to the government’s forceful response, raising concerns about potential backsliding on civil liberties.

In a televised address, President Ruto stated that Kenya’s budget deficit is now projected to be 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the 2024/25 financial year, up from the previous estimate of 3.3%. To mitigate the deficit, the government plans to dissolve 47 state corporations, cut the number of government advisors by 50%, and suspend all non-essential travel by public officials.

“Budget lines for the operations of the Office of the First Lady, the spouse of the Deputy President, and the Prime Cabinet Secretary will be removed,” Ruto announced. He also mandated that all public servants aged 60 and above retire immediately.

Additionally, Ruto revealed plans for a forensic audit of the country’s debt and hinted at imminent changes within the government.

These measures come as the government grapples with balancing fiscal responsibility and public discontent, marking a critical juncture in Ruto’s administration.
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