If you were ever thinking that Beijing would loan and build without consequence. Those days should long be gone. The Chinese are planning to earn money on their investments, they don’t care about the Republic’s they are investing in, as long as they are profits on their investments. They want earn on these loans and since the rate of loans are so high. They are now starting to pick collateral for their infrastructure loans, especially the draining of loans to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
“While acknowledging China’s leading role in the Kenyan economy as a trading partner, the President called for increased Chinese investments in the country. “China now ranks as the number one trading partner with Kenya accounting for 17.2% of Kenya’s total trade with the World,” he said. “Kenya is open and safe for business. Kenya has one of the most conducive business environments in Africa,” the President added” (President.Go.Ke – ‘President Kenyatta Asks China To Give Preferential Treatment For African Goods’ 02.11.2018).
While Kenyatta are acting as it all positive, the reality is that the state are having giant issues with their “investments” and loans there. But Kenyatta wants to make it sound positive, when it really isn’t, just the rate of the loans have grown and the consequences of the relationship with China is now starting to cost. It is the Kenyans that has to pay these loans down and with every way possible. As the Chinese has leverage over the Kenyan government. Take a look at these quotes from media recently!
Loan Rate in Kenya:
“Kenya’s current public debt stands at approximately 4.884 trillion Kenyan shillings (USD$49 billion) or 56.4% of the country’s gross domestic product.. This is up from 42.8% in 2008. In other words, the country owes more than half the value of its economic output (GDP)” (…) “China is Kenya’s largest creditor, holding about 72% of the country’s bilateral debt as of March 2017. Studies show that Kenya’s Chinese debt poses a threat because the loan agreements are not transparent, projects are not well prioritised, accounting procedures are weak and it’s not clear what projects are costing” (Odongo Kodongo – ‘Kenya’s public debt is rising to dangerous levels’ 05.08.2018).
Selling State Owned Enterprises:
“The Privatisation Commission has approved sale of 26 state-owned corporations to raise funds to support the budget. The commission, under the Privatisation Act, 2005, was mandated to sell 26 poorly performing state corporations to cut down government spending. Those approved for sale are National Bank of Kenya, Consolidated Bank of Kenya, Kenya Meat Commission, Development Bank of Kenya, East African Portland Cement, Kengen, Kenya Pipeline Corporation, Kenya Ports Authority, and five sugar millers — Chemilil, Sony, Nzoia, Miwani and Muhoroni. Others are Agrochemical and Food Corporation, New Kenya Co-operative Creameries, Numerical Machining Complex and Isolated Power stations, hotels (Kabarnet Hotel, Mt Elgon Lodge Ltd, Golf Hotel Ltd, Sunset Hotel Ltd and Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels Ltd). Also targetted are Kenya Tourism Development Corporation-associated companies, which include International Hotels Kenya Ltd, Kenya Hotels Properties Ltd, Mountain Lodge Ltd and Ark Ltd” (Cynthia Ilako – ‘State to sell 26 companies to finance current budget’ 03.11.2018, The Star Kenya).
China Selling Infrastructure Loans to Investors:
“The plan will see Hong Kong mortgage insurer Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation (HKMC) buy a diverse basket of infrastructure loans next year and explore the idea of “securitising” or repackaging them into securities for sale to investors, allowing it extra liquidity that it can loan out to finance more infrastructure projects. “This initiative we believe will help ‘recycle’ commercial banks’ capital to be redeployed into other greenfield infrastructure projects, besides enabling wider capital markets participation in infrastructure development under the Road and Belt initiative,” said HKMC Greater China chief executive Helen Wong” (Allan Olingo – ‘China plans to sell off its African infrastructure debt to investors’ 05.11.2018).
We are seeing the growth of loans, that is up 42,8% and the debt level of the 56,4% of the GDP. Because of that, the state are now selling of their State Owned Enterprises. Most likely to Chinese holding companies and investors, who are expecting to gets points on their dollars. As well, as securing their future on the investment. They are selling the central institutions and businesses, which was state controlled, but they will now become para-stalls of the Chinese.
But selling the institutions are not enough for the Chinese. They are planning to take it further. Planning to rehash the loans as sub-prime loans for investors, meaning they are taking the risk instead of the Export-Import Bank of China, where the loans are usually collected and distributed from. Therefore, the loans are another target of more profits as they want to earn on them as well into the Capital Market. Just like the US Banks did with House Loans and mortgages in the past.
While all that is happening and with the knowledge of this, the President is still keeping it cool. Kenyatta is still not saying the brazen truth, that they are a debt-slave to China. Are in such big trouble, that the investment of the SGR are killing the economy and they have to trade-off their assets to keep up with their payments. That is what is happening and this is not really developing, but hurting the economy even more. As this institutions and businesses has been controlling their markets. Now, they will have masters from outside, which are not there to secure the market, but make a direct profit. Therefore, the citizens are not only paying their loans for the railroads, but for destroying their economy. Peace.
The Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta have today pushed for a lower VAT on Petroleum, not showing why it gets cuts in half, but still will charge the public more in taxes. While state is promising more cuts in all arms of government. This from a government that has borrowed more spent more and been more corrupt, than any other I can think off. The Jubilee government have a ten-fold of corruption scandals since its inception. Therefore, if the government would clear its yearly shortfall quickly, the embezzlement, frauds and tender scandals has to stop. Also, the open looting by the high-ranking officials and their cronies, which for some reasons skates by, while the funds are running short. That why it is further insult to injury of the public, that the Wealthy President and his rich cronies are asking for a sacrifice. How could he?
Here is his statement:
“Fellow Kenyans, I have spent the last few days listening to a wide cross-section of views. It is clear that you are all troubled by the effect of the rise in the prices of petroleum products, and its impact on the cost of living. I have heard and understood your concerns, which is why I have proposed, as part of my memorandum, to cut VAT on petroleum products by 50% — from 16% to 8%. Should Parliament accept this proposal, the price of super petrol will drop from KSh 127 to about KSh 118, and the price of diesel will drop from KSh 115 to about KSh 107. Just as business owners took the new VAT rate as an opportunity to increase the cost of goods and services, I expect them not to take advantage of weary citizens, and to lower their prices commensurately and without delay. But we still face a financing gap. This measure will not suffice to balance our budget, as required by law. Therefore I have also proposed wide-ranging cuts in spending as well as austerity measures across all arms of government. The cuts target less essential spending, such as hospitality, foreign and domestic travel, training and seminars, and similar categories. These budget cuts ask of us in government that we tighten our belts. It also ensures that the sacrifices made by tax-compliant Kenyans are matched by discipline from all of us in the public service” (Uhuru Kenyatta – ‘STATEMENT BY HE THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES, UHURU KENYATTA C.G.H., ON FINANCE BILL 2018/2019 ON 14TH SEPTEMBER, 2018’ (14.09.2018).
This here shows how he thinks and manoeuvre, instead of thinking directly how the elites, the cronies and the central leadership to pay for the shortfall, the added debt and growing corruption will cost the public and not them. The austerity and the lack of service providing, even salaries and lack of needed services will come with time. As the defaulting debt and the restructuring that is programmed through the IMF will hurt the communities.
Kenyatta knows this, but trying to deflect and finds ways to smoothing the hurt, but not initially changing the paradigm. The reality is that the state are struggling financially, have over-borrowed and secured massive debts, it now has to pay with interests, while also swiftly embezzled funds to the high-ranking elites, which are not paying for the short-fall, but the tab is put on the public instead. That is the insane reality and the swindle of the century.
There are usually two sides to ever story, and two side to every coin, but the man who has both created it the issue, are now trying to find ways to billing the debt on the public, without taking direct responsibility or going after the ones who created this in the first place. They are off the hook and off the books. While the public will be left with the costly back-payment and figuring out to pay it back. Day-by-day. Peace.
I have issues with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Corruption. He has talked so long about battling it. However, nothing of substance happens. There are some political arsonists who is taken out, now and then. But the systems is more of the same. There are parts of judiciary and parts of government that are supposed to work directly against Corruption. Neither does them seem very interested to touch the high-ranking ones and their connected elites. Which eats of the embezzlement, graft, kick-backs and money laundering. This is done at a scale, which isn’t funny.
Why I don’t believe the President isn’t only because of NYS Scandal 1.0 and 2.0, the Ministry of Health tricks, land-grabbing by random individuals within the government or the Eurobond. But because of the report alone, which stated in June 2018, that Kenyatta’s government since 2013 until 2018 the rate of corruption had grown with 240%. That is why I doubt that this man, who is in his second term and final. Really cares about the fight on Corruption. He can lie to Western Media and the BBC. But the reality is that his government is rampant with Grand Corruption and we know it.
Some key quotes from yesterday:
“It is something I am committed to do. It is what I want my legacy to be—the fight against corruption, and transparency, and to ensure that the nation’s resources are used in the manner it should be” (…) “As a government, as an individual, I am committed to this fight. This is an animal, this beast of corruption, is an animal that we intend to slay. What is remaining now is for our independent judiciary to do its job, and give justice for and on behalf of the people of Kenya” (…) “We can even go back to my grandfather, great grandfather. . . What we own, and what we have is known to the public. If there is an instance where someone can say what we have done is not legitimate, say it, and we are ready to face any court” – In an exclusive interview with the BBC Hard Talk’s Zeinab Badawi, President Uhuru Kenyatta” (Patrick Lang’at – ‘Kenyatta: Lifestyle audit can go back to my great grandfather’ 29.08.2018 link: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/Uhuru-Kenyatta-on-Lifestyle-audit/4552908-4734014-143fnxi/index.html).
I have hard time believing this will be his legacy, the fight against corruption. Especially with his track-record. He is more likely about to tarnish the stability of the Kenyan Shilling and add enough debt to the Chinese. So, they have to trade away vital Mombasa Port or even rent away the whole Standard Gauge Way. As the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is made for that sort of transactions. That is if he is careful with his outstanding debts, as the state officials are eating more and more of the tab. This while the president claims to fight the rampant grand corruption.
He is maybe playing like a big-shot on BBC. However, when he comes home, it is back to our time to eat. He can be the king and the fighter abroad, but when he comes home. He will stay cool, only take out the ones who are in his way or to prove to point. The rest will get away with the evident thieving and grand corruption. That is to be expected, the ones who is charged is political motivated and done to take down, the previous power or the ones the Jubilee doesn’t need.
If this was his legacy, all the governing bodies wouldn’t have become worse in his time, but had stopped growing since Kibaki. Alas. That isn’t the case. Peace.