NOT AGAIN!

Kenyans outraged at new Sh257 billion IMF loan

Some 200,000 petition want IMF to suspend lending to government, say it doesn't spend prudently

In Summary
  • Kenyans have protested the latest Sh257 billion loan by the IMF that government claims will bridge the gap in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Capturing the spirit of anger, a petition to the IMF has been signed by nearly 200,000 people who are pushing for the suspension of any more credit facility to the country.
The International Monetary Fund logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013.
IMF: The International Monetary Fund logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013.
Image: REUTERS

Kenyans have protested against the latest Sh257 billion loan by the International Monetary Fund, which the government claims is critical in fighting Covid-19.

Outraged Kenyans expressed their frustrations with the Jubilee administration's appetite for borrowing, coming when the economy is struggling

Citizens called on the IMF to stop any lending to the Jubilee administration

Capturing the spirit of anger, about 200,000 Kenyans had by Tuesday signed a petition to the IMF, pushing for suspension of any credit facility to the country.

Led by resident Jefferson Murrey, the concerned Kenyans opposed what they termed President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration’s huge appetite for heavy borrowing without proper accountability.

This (petition) is in recognition of the fact that previous loans to the Kenya government have not been prudently utilised and have often resulted in mega corruption scandals. The scandals have not deterred the ruling regime from more appetite for more loans, especially from China,”  the petition reads.

It argues that Kenyans are crippled by the heavy burden of taxation as the cost of basic commodities, such as fuel, is skyrocketing.

“There is nothing to show for the previous loans,” petition organiser Murrey said. 

On Friday, the IMF approved a further Sh257 billion for the same cause, which raises the debt to about Sh.1.2 trillion within the year.

The government argues there is no cause for alarm as the debt ship can still be kept afloat.

“Dear IMF, We lose 2 billion daily, It will only take 127 days to lose your 255 billion. Enough is Enough. Yours Truly, Concerned Kenyans,” wrote one of the petitioners.

Another one wrote, “Dear IMF We appreciate your support #stopgiving loans to Kenya. We have suffered enough through corruption from our leaders. We lose Sh2 billion daily through our corrupt government.”

According to change.org, typically, after there are enough signatories, the resulting letter may be delivered to the subject of the petition, usually via e-mail.

The petitioner can deliver printed copies to the intended recipient but those targeted do not receive emails every time a person signs. However, they are often alerted by email that there is a petition directed to them.

Experts have said the petition will not have any bearing on the status of the country's agreement with IMF on the loan.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has defended government borrowing, citing shrinking revenues in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Treasury says the first disbursement from the loan, Sh33.7 billion, will happen immediately, while a second tranche of Sh44.2 billion will be released by June 30.

(Edited by V. Graham)