Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria stunned many on Tuesday when he spoke on Kenya’s debt burden that currently stands at Ksh.6 trillion.
The MP, who sits on the parliamentary budget committee, admitted that the Legislature together with the Executive arms of government have failed in containing the country’s ballooning debt and have apparently been lying to the country.
”We have lied to Kenyans and second thing is we have failed in our oversight responsibility,” said Kuria.
“Since 2014, we have sold to Kenyans this romantic story that all is well because we believed in respecting the Executive and also since most of us are members of the ruling party.”
The MP was speaking during a public debate on interest rate capping and the country’s debt. He disclosed that parliament did not perform well in its role of controlling borrowing but instead approved every proposal by the Executive to incur more debt.
“The reason we are in this hole is because as parliament we could have said No but we said Yes. So on behalf of Parliament, I want to offer my unqualified apology to the people of this nation since as the people they trusted on the ballot we have failed them by selling them lies that everything is well,” said Kuria.
The Gatundu South MP pointed out that the National Treasury refused to take the more reasonable concessional loans provided by institutions such as the World Bank ostensibly to avoid scrutiny.
“For 7 years we have cheated this country even about our deficit. We have cooked books. We have taken commercial loans at 9% and left people who are offering us money at 1%; multilateral concessional loans. That to me is treason,” said the legislator pointing an accusing finger at Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich and his PS Kamau Thugge.
“I want my good friend Mr. Rotich and Mr. Thugge to look Kenyans in the eye and say they have committed treason for seven years. Institutions like World Bank have offered us loans for 1% but because there was no opportunity for kickbacks we have refused their money and gone for loans being offered at 9% and 10% interest rates.”The Gatundu South MP urged his colleagues in parliament to admit that they were wrong and that the country was in a debt trap.
The government’s borrowing continues to be a subject of high controversy with many raising questions on sustainability of the country’s debt appetite.
The World bank has also severally warned the government that it is taking on a brinkmanship stance on its debt acquisition, a risk that could portend terrible consequences.