Kenya’s debt hits 7.7 trillion shilling

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya’s total debt portfolio has increased from 6.7 trillion to 7.7 trillion as at the end of June 2021, said the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The 7.7 trillion shillings consist of 3.6 billion shillings domestic debt and 4 billion shillings external debt.

The East African nation’s debt is projected to rise to 8.6 trillion shillings by June 2022, as highlighted in the 2021 Budget Policy Statement.

Last month Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani unveiled 3.63 trillion shillings 2021/2022 budget, one of the highest in the country’s history.

Yatani said the government will borrow approximately Sh1.6 trillion to plug a budget hole that will be left due to total spending exceeding total tax collection.

There has been public outcry over the government’s growing appetite for loans. Kenyans have been at loggerheads with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for giving Kenya loans. They argue the funds end in personal pockets hence burdening the ordinary citizens with unnecessary taxes.

In April 2021, angry Kenyans disrupted the (IMF) Facebook live broadcast with anti-loan comments.

The comment section of the 24-minute broadcast was full of remarks by Kenyans calling on the international lender to desist from issuing Kenya loans under the tag stop loaning Kenya.

They castigated IMF for indirectly funding corruption in the East African nation by giving the government more loans despite the misappropriation of the previous ones.

“The cartels in IMF are responsible for the atrocities in Kenya committed by the government due to the loans,” Reiterated James Oreri.

Kenyan Parliamentary Caucus on Economic and Business proposed a raft of radical reforms to inject realism and fiscal discipline in the budgeting process and ensure the national debt remains at sustainable levels.

” There is need to keep an eye on Kenya’s fiscal policy and debt sustainability. We do not have a problem with the uptake of debt to spur the economy, but we must put in place punitive measures which will instil fiscal discipline and create consequences for those who deviate from fiscal regime,” said MP Jude Njomo.

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