Kenyans Have No Moral Authority To CRITICISE Government Spending Says Mutahi Ngunyi

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani said the new loan facility from IMF was part of the government’s fiscal strategy to abandon commercial loans

Kenyans Have No Moral Authority to Criticize Gov’t Spending, Mutahi Ngunyi. Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi has sneered at Kenyans for criticizing the government’s spending and borrowing spree amid high taxation and the dwindling economic fortunes. The controversial current affairs commentator defended massive borrowing by the Jubilee administration and insisted that loans were good for the nation’s development. Ngunyi said Kenyans in general have an appetite for borrowing if statistics by Safaricom’s Fuliza service is anything to go by. By Christmas, Kenyans will have borrowed twice what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is loaning us. And they will have borrowed it from only one source: Fuliza. If you add SACCOs, shylocks, MFIs, and chamas (forget banks) they will have borrowed trillions. Are they stupid? No. They know that borrowing is good,” Ngunyi tweeted. Ngunyi’s remarks came after IMF approved a Ksh 255 billion financing package loan to Kenya. The international lender said the loan would help the country to support COVID-19 response and address an urgent need to reduce urgent debt vulnerabilities. Petition to cancel IMF loan launched A concerned Kenyan, Jefferson Murrey, has since launched a petition to the Washington-based financial institution to cancel the debt. In his argument, Murrey stated previous loans to the Kenya government had not been prudently utilized and often resulted in mega corruption scandals. “Right now, Kenyans are choking under the heavy burden of taxation, with the cost of basic commodities such as fuel skyrocketing, and nothing to show for the previous loans,” Murrey lamented. Over 200,000 citizens have signed the petition asking IMF to withdraw the loan despite a spirited defense by the exchequer.

According to statistics by the Central Bank of Kenya, the country’s public debt stood at KSh 7.2 trillion as of November 2020. The domestic debt was estimated at Ksh 3.4 trillion, while the external debt was Ksh 3.7 trillion. Despite an uproar over the increasing debt levels, the government plans to borrow another Ksh 780 billion in Eurobonds before the end of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure. According to a borrowing plan submitted to IMF by the National Treasury, Kenya plans to borrow Ksh 528 billion in concessional loans, which have long grace periods. Another Ksh 253 billion, on the other hand, would be commercial loans that come with high-interest rates and a short term repayment period.

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