President Ruto Embraces Criticism, Stands Firm on Decisions

President William Ruto, speaking in Tokyo, reaffirmed his commitment to making decisions in the best interest of Kenya, despite facing criticism and being likened to the biblical figure Zacchaeus, known as Zakayo in Swahili.

Ruto stated that he doesn’t mind being called names, including Zakayo, as long as he continues to prioritize the welfare of the country. He emphasized the importance of doing what is right, asserting that it keeps one’s conscience clear.

The nickname “Zakayo” emerged in May 2023 amid discussions about new tax proposals by Ruto’s administration. The comparison to Zacchaeus, a tax collector in the Bible, resonated with the tax-related debates in Kenya.

Despite the negative connotations associated with the nickname, Ruto seems to have embraced it, emphasizing his focus on economic stability and job creation through initiatives like the Affordable Housing Scheme.

Ruto emphasized that he would rather face criticism for implementing policies like the Housing Levy than allow Kenya to accumulate debt. He reiterated his commitment to prioritizing employment opportunities for the youth over personal reputation, stating that it is better to be called “Zakayo” if it means securing a better future for Kenya.

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