Raila campaigns for Uhuru to borrow more loans
ODM chief Raila Odinga urges parliament to raise debt ceiling beyond Ksh 9 trillion to enable President Uhuru Kenyatta to revive the economy, support women and youth through a recovery program and successfully immunize the whole country.
The former prime minister supported Uhuru’s calls to borrow funds the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and Eurobond.
Raila, during a speech in Mombasa County on Wednesday, July 21, argued that the government should raise funds at all costs, with dependence on loans being the top priority.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with many challenges. Some of them are economic deterioration, loss of jobs and hunger. I advise my brother Uhuru to copy US President Joe Biden and unveil a stimulus package that will benefit citizens.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga officially open 48km Ngong-Kiserian-Isinya and 43km Kajiado-Imaroro in Kajiado County in May 2021
“We should vaccinate a huge population and open up the economy like in the UK. In Kenya, we have vaccinated almost a million people alone. No matter how much it would cost to buy the drugs, if we have to borrow, let’s do it. Parliament should also raise the debt ceiling so that money can flow to mom mboga and young people too, ”Raila pleaded.
He added that Uhuru should also modernize the Kazi Mtaani to support young people and inject more funds into the economy. Raila said the aforementioned measures would boost the economy. This is the bottom-up approach Raila unveiled in its 15-point plan for the 2022 general election.
Raila turn around on debts
He did an about-face, however, after warning the government to be cautious about borrowing foreign loans. In 2019, as he addressed an Africa infrastructure finance summit held in Nairobi, he called on Kenya to use its resources first before turning to international donors.
“We are here to think about what we can do for ourselves as Africans before going to the World Bank, the EU or the Chinese,” Raila said.
Ruto’s loan warning
Vice-President William Ruto, for his part, publicly opposed the loan, insisting he would have unveiled strategies better than those Uhuru relied on.
In an interview on Citizen television in April 2015, he lamented that his boss bowed to foreign pressure and demands and subjected Kenya to loans and taxes.
“I would not do what the IMF recommends because it would collapse the economy and spiral downwards. I would cut development in half. I would invest Ksh 200 billion in bricks and mortar and 200 billion Ksh in revival and production, ”he said.
Uhuru on taxes
Public debt crossed Ksh 7.28 billion in December 2020 and the total public debt was predicted to reach Ksh 9.37 trillion in 2023.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto meet during the national prayer breakfast on Thursday, May 27.
The Treasury is under pressure to raise funds to finance the 2021/22 budget of Ksh 3.6 trillion and has turned to taxes as the main source of funds. In early July 2021, Uhuru signed the law new taxes on airtime and loans despite Kenyans already struggling with survival during the Covid-19 crisis.
“I will not lower taxes. You will have to pay because there is no other way to build facilities, roads and schools. We have to pay taxes,” Uhuru said on Wednesday (Feb. 10). ‘a speech at the National Cargo Deconsolidation Center. in Nairobi
Effects of borrowing and taxes
The current Ksh 255 billion and Ksh 80 billion granted to Kenya by the IMF and the World Bank respectively are accompanied by strict measures, including pressure to cut the wage budget, restructure parastatals, lay off civil servants, disclose the names of secret investors benefiting from state tenders and war on the registry.
The World Bank even asked Kenya to increase water bills for residents across the country. Kenyans started petitions against IMF lending and urged foreign donors to refrain from lending more funds to the country as a huge chunk ended up being embezzled.
Uhuru himself admitted that nearly 2 billion Ksh is lost daily due to corruption. Investigative agencies have been blasted for a slow fight against corruption.
“It’s good that the government is building roads and infrastructure, but it comes at a cost to taxpayers who would reimburse through taxes and tolls on certain roads. The budget allocated to development is greatly inflated. With elections coming up in 2022, Kenyans should prepare for a difficult time, ”warned Somakazi financial expert and CEO Nicholas Gachara, addressing Kenyans.co.ke.