Angry Kenyans trooped online to protest the move by the International Monetary Fund to loan Kenya 255 billion, arguing that the country is already overburdened with debts.
IMF BUILDING In Washington, US [courtesy of citizen]
Throngs of Kenyans on social media accused the IMF in aiding of corruption in the country with some starting a petition asking the multilateral lender to cut off the most recent loan.
By advancing the loans without demanding accountability, Kenyans online say that the lenders risk aiding corruption and embezzlement of the funds. By the end of November last year, Kenya’s sum of debt stood at 7.2 trillion. At the current pace of taking 120 billion per month, the debt will be at 8.7 trillion by December and will cross over to 9 trillion by June, next year.
Under president Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government, the size of the budget has increased while tax collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority has stagnated resulting in a deficit that has forced the country to borrow more and more.
The accumulation of debts, especially from the International Capital markets(Eurobond) has seen Kenya commit more than half of taxes to pay loans in recent years. The government has defended increased borrowing, arguing debt has helped build new roads, a modern railway, bridges and electricity plants and transmission lines.
The budgets are prepared by the National Treasury with input from citizens and are approved by Parliament. In as much as citizens decided to be vocal in this situation, MPs, who are the citizens’ representatives, have a mandate to check the borrowing spree by approving realistic budgets and putting Treasury to task on where it intends to get money to fund the expenditure.