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Ksh84 Billion Debt Threatens The Existence Of National Broadcaster KBC

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is experiencing cash flow issues and cannot pay its employees comfortably, ICT CS Joe Mucheru has said.

Mucheru revealed that KBC has debts amounting to Ksh4.2 billion locally and a Japanese loan of Ksh79.9 billion, adding up to Ksh84.1 billion.

“The national broadcaster is technically insolvent. The debts are both recurrent and development. The financial problems mean that KBC is unable to undertake reforms recommended in the National ICT Policy,” Mucheru told the Senate Standing Committee on ICT on Wednesday

“The financial woes mean that KBC is unable to maintain equipment, implement development projects and achieve its obligations.”

Coupled with old staffers with barely new ideas, KBC has a meagre three percent market share behind private broadcasters that enjoy the lion’s share.

Read: Staff Sue KBC Over Sh2.7 Billion Pension Money

“KBC needs funding to improve infrastructure, revamp its content, restructure the balance sheet, rationalise staff and re-brand,” he added.

According to Mucheru, KBC requires an additional funding of Ksh1.8 billion annually, and an additional Ksh11.8 billion in the next five years to save it from crumbling.

In 1989 KBC, signed a contract with the Japan Telecommunications Engineering Consultancy Service (JETC) for a Ksh1 billion loan to buy equipment to improve and expand broadcasting network. The loan is believed to be the genesis of the current financial crisis.

In May, it emerged that KBC had been deducting pension money from its staffers, but the money was never remitted to the respective retirement benefits schemes for close to a decade. The cumulative amount had reached Ksh2.7 billion, leading to a court case.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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