Mudavadi says Jubilee courting disaster with alarming debt levels

Africa National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi (3rd left) dancing with local leaders during the close of the ANC National Women League conference which was held at Maua Basin Hotel on May 18, 2019. [Olivia Murithi, Standard]

Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi has urged the Jubilee Government to admit it gave campaign promises it cannot fulfill and immediately stop a spending binge on debts.

Speaking during two events in Meru County at the weekend, the former deputy prime minister said Kenya’s runaway debt was now at an alarming Sh5.5 trillion.

He said the Jubilee loan spree had seen the national debt rise from a manageable Sh1.4 trillion when former President Mwai Kibaki left office in 2013 to the current levels. "What Rotich (Finance minister) is doing by borrowing debts to pay debts is postponing a problem that can badly explode on the country since these are foreign currency denominated debts, which can shoot up exponentially if the shilling fell in value," said Mr Mudavadi.

He said a fall in the value of the shilling against the foreign currencies could bring the debt tally to grotesque levels within a short time.

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"In my opinion, Jubilee ought to come out and admit the fix it has put the country into then have austerity measure by spending only what it can afford. In my opinion though, the proposed budget figures do not show such a trend," he added.

Mudavadi spoke at the close of the ANC Women League meeting at a hotel in Maua on Saturday and at a church service yesterday.

Saying his 2015 warning that the Jubilee debt acquisition spree would reach unmanageable levels had been vindicated, the ANC leader said the current government would place the burden of loan repayment on the next regime, which would be hard-pressed to implement other projects.

“When we talked of impending crisis those years, a lot of critics were thinking we were ill-advised,” said Mudavadi at a stopover at Maua town market.

The ANC leader was accompanied by Vihiga Woman Representative Beatrice Adagala, who chairs the party's women's council. Also present was Meru branch chair Margaret Ntongai, former MCA Eunice Karema and Jubilee nominated MCA Ruth Kananu.

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Musalia MudavadiJubilee GovernmentForeign debt