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No to massive borrowing – Ruto makes stand on debt

By Mercy Simiyu January 31st, 2023 2 min read

President William Ruto has appeared to blame his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta for the massive borrowing by his government.

Speaking on January 30, 2023, President Ruto confirmed his government would borrow Sh600 billion this year but quickly added that the cash had already been budgeted for by former president Kenyatta’s regime.

Also read: Top ten African countries with the most debt owed to China

The president further criticized the opposition on the remarks made on money borrowing saying his government is determined to save the nation from the debt cell.

“We will stop this behavior of borrowing money with no plan. Some are saying our government is a government of borrowing, I want to tell you that in the budget that we had, they had planned to borrow 900 billion, but I said no to that amount and reduced from 900 billion to 600 billion.

And we will go with the trend of reducing the money year after year until we reach a time when our budget is driven by the tax and revenue of Kenyans so that we come out of debts that is taking our nation behind,” said Mr Ruto

“And I will keep my focus irrespective of who writes what, we are committed in saving our nation from the hands of debts that we entered without a good plan,” he continued.

Also read: Vera Sidika in Sh5000 ‘debt’ row

President William Ruto’s administration is targeting borrowing Sh3.6 trillion in his first five-year term, upending his plan to go slow on debt

The Sh3.6 trillion is equivalent to 89 percent of the record Sh4.1 trillion that his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, borrowed in the five years to June 2022

At Sh3.6 trillion, the borrowing is more than the Sh2.7 trillion that Mr Kenyatta chalked up in his first term and Sh1 trillion that the late Mwai Kibaki borrowed in his last five-year term

President Ruto has come under the spotlight for the increase in food and commodity prices whilst the Head of State has also been keen to ask Kenyans to pay taxes.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kenya is at high risk of debt distress and had a debt-to-gross domestic product ratio of 62.3 percent as of October.

Also read: Janet Kanini’s widower, George Ikua, talks about going into debt