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Gachagua blames Uhuru for Kenya’s ‘choking debts’

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has continued to blame the previous regime, led by the now-retired president Uhuru Kenyatta, for the economic state of the country.

While the Deputy President sounded somewhat lenient toward Mr Kenyatta, he asserted that the Kenya Kwanza government’s predecessor left the nation in shambles.

He accused it of relying solely on debt to operate and develop, leading to the current economic hardships that Kenyans are experiencing.

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DP Gachagua made these remarks in relation to the debts that Kenya owes to foreign financiers, including China, the Eurobond, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“When we assumed office, Kenya was on the brink of starting repayments for its foreign debts,” Gachagua stated on October 6, 2023.

According to the National Treasury, Kenya’s foreign debt stands at over Sh10 trillion.

Gachagua further revealed the government pays over Sh600 billion every month toward these debts.

“These debts belong to all Kenyans, even the unborn child,” the Deputy President emphasized.

However, Gachagua also highlighted that Kenya enjoys a strong global reputation and cannot afford to tarnish its image by defaulting on loan payments.

“We are a reputable country, and it is our responsibility to honor our commitments. As a new government, we could not decline to begin repaying these debts when we assumed power. The major challenge facing our country is the substantial debt burden,” Gachagua explained while defending the President William Ruto-led administration’s decision to increase taxes and levies.

Starting next year, 2024, Kenya is set to begin repaying the controversial Sh259 billion Eurobond loan.

“If we fail to honor these debt obligations, we risk being blacklisted globally. No country will be willing to collaborate with us. We are a responsible government, and we are committed to fulfilling our obligations.”​