A section of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition MPs have scoffed at the just unveiled Hustler Fund saying it did not meet the expectations of many Kenyans.
The MPs compared the fund with other money lenders saying that the President William Ruto-led administration lied to Kenyans on how to access the monies under the hustler fund.
Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, while speaking in parliament on Wednesday, accused Kenya Kwanza of hoodwinking Kenyans during campaigns with the promise of the fund being free but are now overtaxing them.
According to the MP, the government ought to have minimized the interest rate to make the fund more affordable to Kenyans instead of slapping an 8% interest rate and a further 9.5% on defaulters.
“How can you get a loan with interest of 8% and you are a hustler? Will you be paying the interest or the principal? They (Kenyans) were told in campaigns that we will put Ksh. 50 billion in the budget that is going to change their lives for free…it is on record. That is the money the hustlers were waiting for. This is a classical example of how politicians lie to Kenyans,” he said.
Junet, therefore, challenged the president to lower the 8% interest rate to 1% to make it affordable to all Kenyans.
“I want to tell Kenyans that Hustler Fund is not going to change their lives. There are cooperatives lending at 8 per cent in this country and even lower than that. Why don’t you make the interest rate one per cent if you want to change the lives of Kenyans?” Junet posed.
While comparing the Hustler Fund and the Ksh. 6000 stipend promised by his party leader Raila Odinga during campaigns, Junet said that Odinga’s promise was most likely to be fulfilled.
“The only money that I was sure Kenyans would not be lied to, was the Sh6,000 that Raila Odinga promised to every Kenyan,” he said.
Mathare Constiency MP Anthony Oluoch and his Embakasi East counterpart Babu Owino addressing another conference also questioned the source of the funds for the programme and its legality.
Oluoch took issue with the process used by the government to raise the funds without legislation of Parliament alleging that the money may have been drawn from the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) coffers.
“A Ksh. 50 billion fund is being set up by the government by way of regulation, which is an affront to the role of parliament. This is a charade and not what they promised the people of Kenya,” he said.
He added: “We have not received our CDF money and we suspect that this is part of the money that is being channelled to this Hustler’s fund.”
Babu Owino on his part advised the head of state to combine the Fund with Azimio’s pledge of Ksh. 6000 and Kazi Mtaani to boost every hustler’s allocation to a minimum of Ksh. 100,000.