, RUIRU, Kenya Jun 2 – More than 20 Members of Parliament have backed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive on the government honouring its pending bills by the end of June.
The lawmakers in the company of Deputy President William Ruto said the outstanding bills were impeding the growth of businesses, particularly small and medium-sized ones.
They said the order would also make the enterprises honour their own obligations besides making more resources available for their expansion.
They spoke on Sunday in Kahawa Wendani in Ruiru Constituency where they urged the government to put at the centre of its plans the needs of such businesses.
The MPs also backed the decision to retire the Sh1,000 notes from the market. However, they said the move should come earlier than the set October deadline.
“It would go a long way in curbing the illicit financial flows in the country,” said South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro.
Soy MP Caleb Kositany said the introduction of new currency designs in the market would also help in taming corruption in the country.
“Importantly, it would create certainty in the currency market, paving way for Central Bank of Kenya’s policies on taming inflation,” added Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir.
Nyali MP asked those behind the move to push it to an earlier date than the one set.
“It is a healthy initiative for the country that should be brought earlier to take any challenges that the country has undergone with the old notes,” said Ali.
Other leaders present were Governor Ferdinand Waititu, MPs Simon Kingara (Ruiru), Gabriel Kago (Githunguri), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Githua Wamacukuru (Kabete), Jude Njomo (Kiambu Central), Michael Muchira (Oljororok), Jonah Mburu (Lari), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Sylvanus Maritim (Ainamoi) and nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura.
By government paying its suppliers, King’ara said businesses would assume their primary role of promoting economic growth.
“There is no doubt most of the youths in this country are enterprising, and through their innovativeness, they have managed to do business with the government. The payment of the pending bills will therefore indirectly help in addressing unemployment,” he said.
Ichungwa said the move should be made sustainable.
He said a culture should be cultivated by the government where suppliers are paid in time to mitigate against abnormal inflation of prices of goods and services.
“Some policies had pushed small businesses to the corner. This defeated the purposes of such enterprises as a source of income and employment,” added the Kikuyu MP.
He said the directive would relieve businesses of the pressure, and stimulate innovativeness among the youths.
On his part, Nyoro urged the government to come up with more pro-business policies.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are a backbone of our economy. Rather than fighting them, we should nurture their growth,” noted the Kihara MP.
Jumwa asked leaders to put resources in initiatives that would promote youths as they venture in businesses.
“That way, we would clear the mess that come with unemployment and empower them financially,” she said.
Waititu said Jubilee’s successes in 2013 and 2017 polls were informed by its solid policy on its support of entrepreneurship.
“As counties, we have created a conducive platform that supports the thriving of businesses,” he said.
The Deputy President reiterated the government’s commitment to assisting businesses growth.
He appreciated importation challenges that had rocked small traders recently, adding that a sustainable solution to the issue was being worked on.
“The Government has also taken a centre-stage in the setting up specific loans targeting small and medium-sized enterprises. This is because we are committed to making them flourish,” he said.
At the same time, Dr Ruto urged county governments to honour their obligations to their suppliers before the end of this month in line with the President’s Madaraka Day order.
Meanwhile, Mwaura called on leaders to unite and focus on empowering Kenyans.
He said through unity, the country would easily be transformed.
The Anglican Church of Kenya St. Martins Parish Kahawa Wendani Reverend Laban Kuria asked Kenyans to embrace the politics of tolerance.
He said the Deputy President, like any other leader in Kenya, was free to tour any part of the country.