Just days after IMF’s approval of a Sh255.1 billion loan for Kenya which led to an uproar on social media, news has emerged that the country is now just inches away from receiving an additional stash of foreign funds in the form of a Sh217 billion shillings Eurobond reportedly due as soon as next week.
This comes on the backdrop of initial reports earlier this year which indicated that the country was in the quest for a Sh123.8 billion shillings ($1.13 billion) from Eurobond and an additional 124.3 billion shillings ($1.14 billion) during the financial year starting in July with the funds meant to help finance the budget.
According to a viral Twitter post by renowned city lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, the National Treasury has already prepared the prospectus ahead of approval.
“Kenyans must realise the IMF loan is the canapé (appetiser). The main course Uhuru will serve with relish and class is a 2 Billion Euro Bond that will be floated in the coming days. 1 Billion dollars and 1 Billion Euros. Treasury has already prepared the prospectus… Uta do?” he wrote.
This will be Kenya’s fourth Eurobond in six years and the first under CS Ukur Yatani’s administration.
Yatani has constantly defended the excessive borrowing by the Jubilee administration on shrinking revenues in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kenya’s return to the Eurobond market is against its participation in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), whose terms included a break from external commercial financing.
However, the DSSI initiative allows exemption from which countries like the Ivory Coast have returned to the international capital markets even after joining the program.
Kenya’s total public debt reached Sh7.25 trillion at the end of November 2020.
As this happens, over 150,000 enraged Kenyans have so far already signed a petition through change.org in a bid to stop International Monetary Fund (IMF) from releasing its Sh257 billion loan to Kenya.
Led by one Jefferson Murrey, the concerned citizens opposed the President Uhuru Kenyatta administration’s huge appetite for heavy borrowing without proper accountability.
The irate citizens also camped on the Facebook and Twitter accounts of IMF directing the financial institution to cease lending government money over accusation of corruption and impunity in the irregular spending of the loans.