University students in Kenya have expressed their support for President William Ruto’s controversial taxation plans, despite opposition from other sectors of the economy. The Kenya Universities Students Association (KUSA) believes that the Finance Bill, 2023, proposed by President Ruto, will not only address accommodation challenges for its members but also create job opportunities for the youth.
Anthony Manyara, the President of KUSA, emphasized that the proposed housing levy included in the bill would help alleviate the accommodation shortage in higher learning institutions. Manyara stated that KUSA intends to propose to President Ruto that student accommodation be integrated into his affordable housing plan. He defended the housing levy proposal by highlighting its success in other countries and called on Kenyans to support Ruto’s plan while also holding him accountable for any mismanagement of the program.
Samuel Oloo, the chairman of the Mutarakwa Harmony Cooperative, praised the housing levy for providing a lifeline to workers in the housing and construction industry. He believed that the construction of these houses would create numerous job opportunities in the industry, benefiting the cooperative, which brings together young individuals in the construction sector.
These statements were made during the public hearings on the Finance Bill, 2023, which had been ongoing for seven days. The National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Finance, chaired by Kuria Kimani, organized the sittings at the Hilton Garden Inn on Mombasa Road. Kimani acknowledged that students had identified accommodation as a significant issue affecting the affordability of university education, as students had to compete with salaried individuals for housing.
University students in Kenya, represented by KUSA, believe that President Ruto’s taxation plans, particularly the housing levy, have the potential to address their accommodation challenges and provide job opportunities. They urge fellow Kenyans to support Ruto’s initiatives while ensuring he remains accountable for their effective implementation.