Ever since it broke out that Kenya’s application for a loan of more than 250 billion had been approved by the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Kenyans online have been in a spirited push to try and persuade the international lender not to forward the money to Kenya in view of the rampant corruption and mismanagement that has been witnessed, and is currently being seen within government circles.
Compounding this, the entire issue seems to have now taken a whole new twist, with IMF taking the unprecedented step of delving into a member country’s political situation.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concerns that the heightened political activities as the country prepares for a possible referendum and General Election might scuttle Kenya’s belt-tightening plans.
Flagging the buildup of political activities as one of the risks to the Sh262 billion programme that its Executive Board approved on Friday, the IMF emphasised that it is only by adhering to the agreed austerity path of increasing revenues and cutting non-essential spending that Kenya would be able to overcome the spending temptations that accompany the electioneering period.
Kenya is set to receive Sh79 billion as part of the Sh250 plus billion before the end of this Financial Year, while the rest will be released thereafter after every six months after the review of the country’s performance.
Besides the political risks, the IMF is also concerned with the escalating cases of Covid-19 which are likely to depress the economy and make it harder for Kenya to repay its loan.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government has instituted various containment measures against Covid-19, including a dusk-to-dawn curfew aimed at restricting social interactions and thus curbing the spread of the disease that has left a social crisis in its wake.
Kenya will receive Sh79 billion end of the current Financial Year on June 30. The money will come in two tranches with the Sh33.7 billion being released immediately after the Executive Board of the IMF approved the loan. The remaining Sh44.2 billion will be released by end of June.