Frustrated Kenyans appeal to IMF under #StopGivingKenyaLoans

President Uhuru Kenyatta with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
President Uhuru Kenyatta with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. [Photo: CapitalFM]

For the past few days, Kenyans have expressed their reservation with the government’s continued borrowing spree now making a special appeal to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Left with no choice, thousands of Kenyans took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the current borrowing spree by President Uhuru Kenyatta led government.

This follows reports that the Kenyan government would get Ksh263 billion in Covid relief budget for 2021/20211 fiscal year.

IMF said that: “Kenya’s economy is now picking up speed after the COVID-19 shock, but the pandemic has left deep imprints on the country’s fiscal and debt positions.”

Mary Goodman, IMF mission chief for Kenya said that the loan will help Kenya meet its financial needs.

“Like many other countries around the world, Kenya was hit hard by the COVID-19 shock,” she told IMF Country Focus.

“While economic activity is picking up, many challenges remain. Public health is still under pressure with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines just getting started. Higher poverty has set back progress towards Kenya’s development goals. Kenya’s fiscal and debt positions have also worsened, adding to difficulties that existed even before the shock.”

Goodman added that the new loan will help Kenya’s programmes in Covid-19 responses.

“The new program with the IMF will support the next phase of the government’s COVID-19 response.

“Combining arrangements under the Extended Fund Facility and Extended Credit Facility, it provides for $2.4 billion in low-cost financing over the next three years.

“Other development partners will also be providing substantial amounts of concessional financing. Without this help, Kenya would have to aggressively cut spending on investment and social programs, making it more difficult to achieve a durable and inclusive recovery.

Now, Kenyans are up in arms asking the IMF through a petition to cease giving more loans to Kenya.

“Dear IMF EXECUTIVE BOARD, we can’t continue at this rate of loan borrowing anymore. President Uhuru Kenyatta no more loans,” one Young Professor Hamo said.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot added: “To all the organisations loaning Kenya, prepare to come source for your funds from the pockets of those you are dealing with. Kenyans will only pay for the small portion they consume. The only favour we may grant you is point you to their land, hotels, banks etc.”

Mzee Kibor Patron noted: “Dear IMF, enough is enough. Kenyans are tired of the loans that are daily stolen as the economy is killed. We don’t need need.”

As of December 2020, Kenya’s total public debt was 7.2 trillion which is equivalent to the country’s 65.6 gross domestic product (GDP).