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I Will Borrow More For Development, President Kenyatta Declares

President Uhuru Kenyatta with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping. IMAGE/ COURTESY

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that he will borrow more to sustain the development agenda in the country.

President Kenyatta was responding to ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi’s sentiments, who wanted the President to halt the borrowing spree the government was engaging in.

In response, the President said that borrowing was inevitable if the development agenda was to be carried on.

Mmeniambia nisikope lakini mnataka barabara…Hata mzee alikopa ili apate karo ya kumpeleka Kalonzo shuleni! Haja ni pesa isiibiwe, isitumiwe kulipa mishahara. (You tell me not to borrow yet you want roads… Even Mzee borrowed to get money to take Kalonzo to school! (We will borrow) provided the money is not stolen and pay salaries). I agree we must borrow in a manner that we are able to service the debt that we incur,” said the President.

The two leaders spoke during the burial of former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s father Mzee Musyoka Mairu, in Tseikuru, Mwingi, Kitui County.

Currently, the country owes external debtors more than Ksh5 trillion, with economists predicting that by 2022 when Prsident Uhuru’s term expires, the country will be struggling with a debt burden of Ksh7 trillion.

This year alone, Kenya is set to borrow up to $2.8 billion (Ksh287 billion) in Eurobond offers and syndicated loans to finance 2018/19 budget deficit.

Read: Eurobond 3: Kenya Set To Borrow Ksh287 Billion By The End Of 2018

The International Monetary Fund estimates Kenya’s total public debt will peak at 63.2 percent of gross domestic product this year from 58 percent in 2017.

According to the latest Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) report for Africa, Kenya’s debt woes and miss-match between expenditure and revenue collection remain big concerns.

“The size of total government expenditure relative to GDP climbed nearly four percentage points between 2001/12 and 2016/17, reflecting the growing importance of the public sector in the Kenyan economy and in underpinning growth,” stated the Word Bank in a report.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. He believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye. He has also carved himself a niche in writing business stories. He has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service, Business Today among others. Follow him on Twitter @FmuliKE.

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