Omtata: We need balance sheet of debt payments; we may have overpaid
Busia Senator Okiya Omtata, who has filed a case to stop the 2023 Finance Bill, now claims the government of Kenya may have overpaid its debts.
The senator says that past regimes, including that of former President Uhuru Kenyatta, must be held accountable for keeping Kenyans in the dark.
The Senator wants the government to make public all the loans the country has taken and how the debt has been serviced over the years.
Speaking in a radio interview on Spice FM on Wednesday morning, the MP claimed Kenya could be losing billions through the repayment of loans that no one knows about.
“If you look at the figures, Kenya has overpaid its debts. We don’t owe anybody anything. We have overpaid our debt by more than a trillion shillings,” Senator Omtata said.
“If you look at the figures of what we have legitimately borrowed and what the government has paid over the years, if you do a balance sheet, you will find that we have overpaid the debt,” he said.
He also claimed the government did not deduct from what was borrowed when the debt was paid.
“These are the questions the likes of Kamau Thugge (Central Bank of Kenya governor nominee), Prof Njuguna Ndungu (Treasury Cabinet Secretary), Uhuru Kenyatta and President William Ruto need to answer,” he said.
He also claimed government institutions may have contributed to the loss of public funds by taking money from the Treasury purportedly to pay the debt but failing to do so. The senator said his claims are based on the government’s books.
However, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, the country’s public debt stood at Sh9.145 trillion in December last year.
Domestic publicly guaranteed debt stood at Sh37.88 billion and external debt at Sh4.673 billion.
Data also shows that debt servicing costs have risen from Sh850.01 billion in previous financial years to Sh1.3 trillion in the current financial year.
President Ruto has on several occasions reiterated that his administration will focus on debt repayment and minimise borrowing to reduce the burden of loan payments on Kenyans. The President has also faulted the previous government of borrowing too much.