‘I Have Full Authority From God And Kenyans,’ President Ruto Vows To Continue With Affordable Housing Programs

President William Ruto remains resolute in his commitment to advancing his administration’s affordable housing initiatives, despite the recent decision by the Court of Appeal not to suspend a High Court order declaring the housing levy unconstitutional.

Addressing the public in Kiutine, Meru County on Friday, Ruto emphasized that, regardless of the court ruling, he has garnered substantial public support for the housing programs, which he believes will generate numerous employment opportunities for Kenyan youth. He equated the perceived public backing to a divine directive, stating, “Housing mnasema iendelee ama isiendelee? Wale wanasema housing iendelee nione kwa mikono. Si nyinyi ndio kusema Kenya hii. Kuna public participation kuliko hii yenu? Amri yenu ndio amri ya Mungu. Kwa hivyo mimi niko na amri ya kutosha na nitasongesha (housing) mbele.”

The Court of Appeal, in its Friday ruling, affirmed that the introduction of the Housing Levy lacked a legal framework. The court’s decision highlighted, “The trial Court held that the Housing Levy was introduced without a legal framework. It also held that the levy was targeting a section of Kenyans. In our view, public interest lies in awaiting the determination of the appeal.” The ruling further cautioned against granting a stay at this stage, as reversing decisions made under the impugned laws might prove challenging if the appellate Court upholds the initial decision.

The controversy surrounding the Housing Levy has sparked disagreements among members of the ruling Kenya Kwanza government and opposition-allied legislators. Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga has urged employers to cease remitting the housing levy in compliance with the High Court ruling.

However, Ruto has remained steadfast in asserting that the Housing plan is a crucial pillar of his administration. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has echoed this sentiment, urging the Judiciary to consider the broader societal impact of its decision, contending that the levy plays a pivotal role in enabling the government to address Kenya’s housing shortage by constructing houses on a large scale.