There is no doubt that Kenya is a borrowing nation. A nation thriving on the wheels of debts and existing at the mercy of lenders, especially the Chinese.
There are concerns that by 2020, Kenyan debt would have ballooned so much that it would take generations to clear it. Stats indicate that by the time President Uhuru Kenyatta will be leaving office, Kenya will be owing 7.2 trillion shillings in debts.
Currently, Kenya’s public debt accounts for more than 56 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raising a red flag. But, the government insists that we must borrow to survive.
In the first four months of 2019 to the month of April, the government borrowed 208 billion shillings, about 1.7 billion shillings per day with little evidence to show where the money went.
During the four-month period, the National Treasury borrowed six loans with a big part of it going to settling other loans that had matured. It was basically the case of digging one hole to fill the other.
When President Uhuru Kenyatta took over power, the debt level to GDP was at 42 percent. His administration has worked hard to push it past 56 percent and is likely to hit 62 percent by the time he will be leaving.
China remains the greatest lender to Kenya. The greatest loan came from Exim Bank of China that was used to fund the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Nairobi.
The contract between Kenya and China that led to the granting of the loan remain “top secret” with concerns that China will take over key economic outlets such as the Port of Mombasa in the event Kenya defaults on the payment of the loan.