This week the talk of Kenya’s debt is back on the table for discussion. This is something that has been on the plate for so many months and was a campaign issue during the 2017 election. In past posts I have tried to look at the issue of the economy and boring and how it affects the country in the long run.
In one of David Ndii’s column he goes on to explain how the GDP to debt ratio being the highest in the country since Jubilee Government came into power. The issue of borrowing has become one of the thorny issues that he covers in his columns. In his latest column he claims that the IMF and Central Bank is lying to Kenyans over debts.
Shortly after Kamau Thugge the PS at Treasury penned down an article claiming that Kenya’s debt is manageable. This is something that has been echoed by Deputy President William Ruto and Aden Duale who is the Majority Leader of the National Assembly. This makes you wonder who you will believe.
A few questions linger in someone’s mind when you see the issues that are being raised. I will try and raise some of them if not all of them in this blog post. PS I’m not a finance analyst or economist just questions for the media.
- What is a Eurobond?
This is the first question that everyone needs to be brought about. When you ask anyone what is a Eurobond they will just probably stare at you. This is something the media needs to be on top of. Give information about and make sure that everyone has been brought to speed so that we know where our taxes are going?
- Why are we in taking another major debt?
This is something the media needs to raise. Little if not no explanation has been given by the government over the first Eurobond loan. This should alarm any journalist who is paying attention to this issue. This is not the only issue. Turns out the government is borrowing to service other loan which makes one question what is going to be done with the loan.
- Is the loan being put to good use?
This is something that also needs to be questioned. There has been little or no brief about plans for the loan. This is something that is troubling judging by the way the first loan was used. This is something that is really disturbing.
According to Kwame Owino who is an economic analyst who was doing an analysis of the loan yesterday he made a comment that stood out. The amount of the loan does not matter but what matters is what you do with the loan. This is something the media needs to borrow a leaf and make sure they have broken down what the loan details will be.
- How are we handling our debt?
This is another issue that needs to be handled. Who is handling the issue of payment of debts? What is the framework of making sure that we are on course to pay our debt? What debts have been placed on first priority and which one are being handled slowly? How manageable is our debt or are we on course to being another Greece which found herself bankrupt.
The media needs to be prepared to handle all this issues. Who is setting the pace to making sure we have handled the conversation or are we leaving it to Central Bank and treasury to set the pace?