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Controversy surrounds Ruto's house gift to Faith Kipyegon

Discrepancy arises over price of President Ruto's house gift to Faith Kipyegon

President William Ruto hands Faith Kipyegon a dummy cheque of Sh5 million at State House, Nairobi on June 13, 2023

President William Ruto's reception of double-world record holder Faith Kipyegon at State House on Tuesday, June 13, has sparked confusion and controversy regarding the value of the house presented to the renowned runner.

The President proudly announced that Kipyegon had been awarded a house worth Sh6 million under the affordable housing scheme in Ngara, along Park Road.

President Ruto emphasized the government's commitment to providing affordable housing for all citizens, stating, "This house in Park Road, if it was built under the normal program, a 3-bedroom house would cost anywhere between 15 and 20 million."

"But because we believe that owning a house should be a necessity and a right for as many Kenyans as possible, we have reduced the price of this house to Sh6 million."

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However, a spot check into the government's housing project along Park Road paints a different picture.

Research reveals that the houses offered under the affordable housing scheme along Park Road in Ngara ranged from Sh1.5 million to Sh4 million, which is Sh2 million below the value announced by President Ruto.

Ministry of Housing's Communications Advisor, John Kaplich, in a past interview with the Nation, said the largest 3-bedroom apartment, spanning 80 square meters, was valued at Sh4 million.

Furthermore, a smaller 3-bedroom house with 60 square meters was worth Sh3.5 million, a 2-bedroom house measuring 50 square meters cost Sh3 million, and a 1-bedroom house was priced at Sh1.5 million.

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The significant disparity between the actual market values of the houses and the amount President Ruto claimed they were worth has caused confusion and raised eyebrows among Kenyans.

Other posts by the Boma Yangu program suggest another contradicting range of prices between Sh1 million for a 1-bedroom house to Sh 3 million for a 3-bedroom house.

It is essential for the government to address these concerns promptly and provide a clear explanation regarding the valuation of the houses under the affordable housing program.

Failure to do so may erode public confidence in the affordable housing program which has become a hot topic in Kenya after the government proposed deductions from employees to finance uptake of the houses.

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President Ruto met Faith Kipyegon at State House after she landed at JKIA earlier in the morning.

The head of state explained that the runner would receive a cash prize of Sh5 million and a house worth Sh6 million.

He added that going forward, all athletes who break world records would receive a Sh5 million cash prize for every record.

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Ruto acknowledged that Kenya’s talents are among the best marketers and ambassadors of the country and thus they should be accorded national honours as well.

He revealed that the government was working on a plan to grant Kenya’s sports talents diplomatic passports.

At the same event, President Ruto awarded 100M sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala Sh2 million.

When she spoke, Kipyegon battled tears saying she would use the money to buy her father a car, which she had promised.

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She said coming back home to a wonderful reception made her feel appreciated and warmed her heart.

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