By Arch Dr, Isaac Kinungi for The Diaspora Times.
Kenya is currently borrowing from IMF to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic measures that have somehow paralyzed the economy not only there, but Worldwide- but a section of either ignorant, aggrieved, or sponsored Kenyans, were in uproar in social media to stop the same.
Such are demanding that the IMF, should stop lending Kenya further loans, forgetting that the same institutions, can suddenly start demanding repayments of what the Government owes them- and which in the end, will result to the reduction of the huge civil service and affect the unfinished capital projects. Many of those signing petitions as a result, will eventually loose their jobs and our communication system too, will be affected.
If all can use the same energy to petition the Government to pursue vigorously those who stole money for the dams and all other unexplained Government losses, they would be pursuing a better initiative, other than asking the IMF to stop lending funds to the cash trapped Kenyan Government. We should instead, see more meaningful petitions on money kept at offshore bank accounts by corrupt Kenyans. The same however should be done through protocol but not through the social media.
The IMF, is coming as saviours to try and boost the economy of Kenya (and many African countries), not to fully collapse as the Government, cannot be able to meet it’s obligations in servicing existing huge debts due to the prevailing economic hardship brought about by the COVID-19- two time closures.
Many, may not understand but at times, you can borrow to service debts that are not manageable due to high accruing interest costs brought about due to defaulting in payments as agreed.
We may have defaulted in several of them and after the IMF chips in, we can be able to offset those with high interest and be able to service the 3 years interest free IMF loans.
Money stolen from treasury, if it was used in investments locally, or abroad, can be pursued and recovered. If the money is still in the culprits bank accounts, the same should be frozen immediately and returned back to treasury to meet other recurrent Government expenditures. Those properties bought outside the country too, can be sold off and the proceeds, repatriated back to our treasury.
We need now to renegotiate and restructure existing loans as the COVID-19, has pushed the country to extreme limits whereby we are unable to meet some loans commitments obligations.
IMF is considering the economic hardship and working closely with the Government to ensure that there is transparency in new tenders and those waiting to be paid, to be further scrutinized before the money is released.
The construction projects especially in most cases, have a lot of valuation orders that are not genuine and the same, needs external independent auditors to verify.
The IMF lending to our country, is not the issue -but the issue is the misappropriation of funds meant for development.
We must all agree that a country cannot survive without loans as we need to complete the started projects, and further improve on service delivery, health, electrification, and education sector, as envisaged in the four pillar agenda.
The Government commitment to open up the country through roads, and railway network, is in order for that is the only way we can boost the economy.
The IMF lending our country, is not in dispute to a country willing to progress but the same, should be used for the purpose intended for to the last penny.
If we can only focus on what was stolen by people who are still loaming free in Kenya, then we shall not be going for those loans to pay debts penalties incurred because of known thieves.
Yes it’s not fully gone with the wind and if so, the same has not left Kenya. We must dig deeper as all payments go through a process and all those involved, must explain to Kenyans why money was released for a project that never took off. Who did the feasibility study and due diligence- of the foreign company paid to start dams construction? If at all they are or were genuine, then we can follow the person that issued their performance bond to repay the lost funds which is not peanuts as some assume.
Lies, intrigues, and conspiracy fake cheap theories, told to ignorant Kenyans in bribed gatherings scenes, will not defeat the truth as the Government lost a lot of money to people supported by known high ranking individuals in the Government.
We can still recover all the stolen funds if determined because it’s either in Kenya, or somewhere on the planet earth. Yes it’s possible if we had a serious prosecution team, and an impartial judiciary that can follow the cases to the end and at least hold someone responsible for the lost funds.
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