By James Wafula in Nairobi.
The mega-headed corruption monster in Kenya has again struck with devastating precision in the public sector.
This seems to lend credence to remarks made by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year that the country loses Kshs 2 billion daily to corruption.
Yet with only five months in office no “big fish” has been convicted and jailed for stealing public funds!
President Kenyatta’s legacy in the fight against corruption has come under fire from civil society and multi-lateral lenders.
The ruling Jubilee party regime has been accused of dragging the country into near bankruptcy from huge external loans. Most of the cash is then stolen by state bureaucrats who go scot free laughing all the way to the bank!
According to the Auditor General M/S Nancy Gathangu up to Kshs 1.8 billion is missing at the National Treasury.
The AG who was speaking during a multi-sectoral fiscal strategy meeting, said the money had been meant for covid 19 health sectors in the 47 county governments.
The meeting held at Serena hotel brought together MPs, senior Treasury officials and the speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi.
With 2022 barely one month old and considering an expensive general election coming up in August, the revelations have stunned many including IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.
Mr Chebukati is overseeing the critical fifth transition elections for Kenya’s fifth president and has repeatedly lamented over a Shs 14.5b budget deficit.
Chebukati currently facing growing odds in the second mass registration largely boycotted by first time voters blames lack of cash for civic education.
The AG said a recent audit in the public sector had revealed the “yawning gap” from collected taxes and other revenue from grants and loans. Kenya is one of Africa’s most indebted countries with external loans grossing a collosal Kshs 9 trillion and still counting.
Kenya civil society leaders have since written to World Bank, IMF, European Union, the US and China over the soaring debt burden.
Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga revisited the issue during a speech at Kabarak university recently accusing President Uhuru Kenyata’s government of running down the country with debts.
Mutunga and other civil society big wigs have warned that the debts would have to be paid by President Kenyatta after he steps down.
Multi-lateral lenders have been warned that a regime change in Nairobi could decide to reject the huge debts as “untenable”. This has sparked panic in Paris, London and Beijing!
Chinese premier was in the country late last year and other countries to review progress of debt repayment.
Kenya is the third highest recipient of Chinese loans in Africa after Angola and Zambia. Angola has multi-billion shilling oil reserves it has used as collateral while Zambia offered its vast copper rich region as security. Kenya on the other hand put ports of Mombasa and Lamu as security.
China is now said to be mulling on whether to occupy the ports as the country heads for the August transition elections for peaceful regime change■