An MP has called on Parliament to pass a law to freeze government borrowing for a few years to save the country from economic collapse.
Thika MP Patrick Wainaina said if not well managed, repaying the Sh.7 trillion public debt will be a miracle, given that the country is not generating enough revenue to manage its budget.
He said it would be prudent to freeze borrowing bilateral loans for a year or two to renegotiate terms and fix run-away corruption to save the country from having to repay unmanageable debt.
The legislator said while borrowing for development was welcome, a huge percentage of loans has been lost through looting, leaving the country with unmanageable debts and little development.
“We know that whatever has been borrowed cannot be substantiated on the ground. A lot of the funds have been looted,” he said.
He opined that if borrowing is not frozen, the country’s public debt will be unrepayable in the coming years, leaving taxpayers at the mercy of the lenders.
He added that it would be easier to repay loans if the country was generating enough from exports, noting that the country was importing thrice its exports.
“It’s just a matter of time before the country becomes a slave to our lending partners. It will be difficult to repay the loans since we generate very little given that we import three times what we export. What miracle are we expecting to repay these loans if we are not even exporting? I’m afraid for this country,” explained Wainaina, further saying, “This is the time Parliament should rise and pass a law to freeze borrowing to save the country in the future.”
He was addressing the press in Thika town today. The country’s public debt stands at around Sh.7 trillion with calls to raise the ceiling to Sh. 9 trillion up to the end of 2023/24.
Wainaina also called for more punitive measures to be put on those charged with corruption, both in the counties and the national government to tame the vice, noting, corruption was high and had suppressed development, and job creation thereby rendering the population hopeless.
“We need to see looters of public coffers behind bars to deter others from engaging in corruption. The vice has robbed the country’s development and hopes for our children because most of what we produce as revenue is looted,” said Wainaina.
By Muoki Charles