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 Government of Kenya and the Government of Uganda, should both worry about their arrangements and their growing debts, as the non-sustainable rates of debt and higher interests. As the unnatural growth of the national budget, where the lack of revenue is covered with more state debt. To cover both salaries and development projects. All of this has happen over the recent years. As more and more of the yearly budget goes to pay interest on old loans, as the old loans also mature and the rates will become more dire. As the strength of the economy isn’t going in the same rates as the loans. This is in the end a debt trap. A debt trap China has used in other countries.
Sri Lanka is the recent example, which has come into a debt trap, where the Chinese loans has become so dire, become so big and not able to recover. That the collateral for the state was to favorable lease the harbor of Hambantota to the Chinese. They had too, since they couldn’t repay the creditor from Peking. That should be realization from all the others who borrows big and think that the Chinese will not get something valuable back for their funding.
This should be a warning for the Kenyan and Ugandan counterparts, this should be a warning for President Kenyatta and President Museveni. That is if they care about the state resources, about their minerals and about the possible extractions from their republics. If they want to be debt-slaves, or lease away the crown jewels to the Chinese, because they promised favorable debt plans, that in the end put them in juxtaposition, that they cannot come out off; unless they trade away something very valuable. If that would be licenses to drill oil in Turkana or in Bunyoro.
Who knows what the end-game of these massive loans are and if the Presidents and their parties plans to repay them. Or hope that the next generation will try to invent new way of generating money. If so, then they are saved by rare luck and not by planning ahead. These loans are big and taking bigger and bigger slices of the GDP. They are going far beyond the levels of revenue and possible future forecast of funds. Therefore, the loans can only at this point benefit the ones giving them. They will get the repayments and the interests. If they don’t get that, they will take collateral and take other state entities to get their values back. The Chinese are doing that in Sri Lanka, they could easily do that with Kenya and Uganda too. They are in for the taking and ready to muscled out.
The Chinese doesn’t play and doesn’t play with money, they will recollect and they will recover the funds spent. As they are not playing games, they are really investing and hoping to get paid-in-full. They are waiting for the numbers to go from red to black. They don’t expect to loose, and if they do. They will figure other ways to collect the lost.
President Kenyatta and President Museveni should know this, but I doubt they are thinking in this direction right now. They are eating and not caring, but their states and their economist should worry. As the growing debts has a backside, not only the interests and the lack of development it creates, as they have to find bigger revenue to cover the debt and the mature loans, as they have to settle old affairs and such. They don’t go away or get deleted over nothing. They got to take charge and find a way to solve it.
The Chinese will take advantage if they start to default, if they struggle to pay, which could come, if the loans and the negative spiral of lack of revenue continues. That is if the state doesn’t find ways to repay. Than, the Chinese might take a port, might take state owned enterprise, but surely they will be paid-in-full. Peace.
In Kenya, the Cabinet Secretaries under the Jubilee Government is a special breed, they must be the new definition of the over-class, why do I say this, well because of the Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i who was at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Terminal D at 05:49 AM and about to depart at 06:15 AM on the 6th April 2017.
At the early morning at the Airport a fellow staffer Daizy Cherogony gotten suspended for her act towards the CS Matiang’i, who was so brazen to ask the government official to stand in line before entering the plane, also denying him PRIORITY SERVICE. Meaning he is supposed to skate through the whole airport and board without any question or be in a queuing up. She got suspended because she embarrassed him for taking away the Priority Service and making him stand in-line like common folk.
That she got suspended for embarrassing a Cabinet Secretary and taking away his priority service while boarding his plane to Kismu was breach of work ethics at JKIA. Certainly, she got hardships of common folk when she questioned the powers of the Parliamentarian and the Government Official. It seems like the CS are above the common sense and the people in general with this sort of provision. As well as being suspended in April 2017 and she was fired for this act on the 11th May 2017.
Clearly, there two set of people, the Special and Very Important Persons (VIP) which apparently is the CS Matiang’i class, who are above the rest and has a higher esteem. People like this doesn’t queue or are in lines of people. They walk pass everyone, surely in a traffic-jam in the Central Business District of Nairobi, the Police Cars drive in conveys so it can pass through. Since the CS is one of these people he cannot be treated like common folk. The other kind of people are common folk, who stand line at the Airport, have no extra Priority Service or have Police Envoys in the Central Business District of Nairobi. They are stuck in traffic-jams and cannot dip through traffic with the help of security organizations. Common people cannot get special treatment or doesn’t seem significant enough to be treated as royalties.
Well, the common folk Cherogony treated Matiang’i as the same and she got sacked for doing so. Because he apparently is above common sense and common people. She got suspended from her duties and later terminated from working at JKIA. This for doing her job and thinking that the CS was just like the rest. If it is embarrassing to be treated as common folk, than maybe he should become a civilian again. Maybe the CS should remember who he represents and what entity he works for. He is a civil servant and a public official who represent all Kenyans.
CS Matiang’i is the head of the Education Ministry, he is supposed to make sure people are educated and that their minds are fit for society and for work. Their education bearing fruits and their values are fit for society. This is the work of the CS Matiang’i. Still, it is not in him or his acts towards common folk or common people, since they apparently beneath him. That is when someone does their job and secure the bordering of a flight. Even a CS needs follow airport procedure and guidelines when they are bordering a plane. This isn’t a chapati-line or a food serving. This isn’t a quick car-parking and getting a special parking lot for him. He should have no issue to follow procedure at the airport.
What is worse in this is that the gentleman, the government official got someone fired for being embarrassed, when that person was actually just doing her job. The insincere works of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister, the man who represent his party and the people, got someone fired for doing their job and securing air-safety. If that isn’t insulting, than what is?
Certainly, one of these days the Jubilee government Cabinet Secretaries going to wake-up from their sleep and start to act with common sense. Since the release of subsidized maize and opening imports, the markets has not overflowed with Unga. Neither, the reality that some of the millers kept stockpiles of it, as they knew they would be subsidized from the state. So why sell it months ahead, when you can keep it steady and unleash when you get double bonus. The Jubilee government knows this and therefore right on the day of the subsidized maize and the possible export provisions came into effects. Boats with foreign maize came pouring in through the ports of Mombasa.
“He witnessed the arrival of 12,000 bags through the Rift Valley Railways yesterday. “To ensure every Kenyan enjoys the Sh90 subsidised maize flour, all maize from Mombasa will be removed using SGR, RVR and trucks,” Bett said. In two weeks, the market has been experiencing a shortage of unga. “Since we started the subsidised programme, we have witnessed more Kenyans preferring unga, thus the high demand for maize flour,” he said” (Ngotho, 2017).
CS Willy Bett, need some guidance, needs some reassurance and some sort of stiff upper-lips for insulting fellow citizens. It isn’t the sudden love for UNGA. This the staple food. This is what Kenyans are known to eat. UNGA, Ugali or Posho (Ugandan I know). Still, the maize flour meals is not a well-kept hidden secret. It would be like taking potatoes as out of the equation when feeding massive parts of Northern Europe. That is just the staple food. Period.
The CS clearly, has some internal issues and need to stop thinking he can deceive fellow citizens. As the indicated exports combined with the stockpiling was very evident. That people are buying lots of it now, is because they might even fear for more scarcity. Since it isn’t only drought, but man-made problems that has given way to shortage of UNGA.
It is time to wake-up for Mr. Bett and smell the UNGA. Time to see and relieve his fellow brothers and sisters. Not just find excuses upon excuses and think it can save his grace. You do not take away some-ones staple and think you can get away with it. Seriously, that is insulting. The insinuation and undermining of the needs and the will of Kenyans. Are evident in his approach to the UNGA crisis. This should not be forgotten, because his grace has clearly not done his job and then blames the citizens for either their staple food! Peace.
Ngotho, Agatha – ‘Kenyans eating more ugali to blame for unga shortage – CS’ (20.06.2017) link: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/06/20/kenyans-eating-more-ugali-to-blame-for-unga-shortage-cs_c1582605?platform=hootsuite
You know something is fishy when the markets suddenly has maize flour in the stores as the 2 kg packaged that is produced in Kenya and milled in Kenya. This comes as the fixed subsidized prices comes into effect. Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, who has been in Port of Mombasa in the recent days. Being proud of the delivery of imported maize flour.
That their been shortage and that the markets has had less in storage is the evidence of the escalating prices. Therefore when COSMO millers comes with milled in March 2017 and is expiring in August 2017. Also, that the shortfall in between the fixed price and the balance has to be covered by the state. As the prices has clearly gone to high and than the government stepped in. But the ones coming of the boat during this week. Couldn’t suddenly appear in the shop. It had to be taken care of and repackaged, even milled if it was pure corn.
That the package of the milled maize flour now has the label of GoK, as the Jubilee fronting their good work. As they trying to look like they stopped a scandal and shortage. The Government clearly has either ordered the millers, agreed with the millers or tried to put a shortage to suddenly see the likes of COSMO filling the market with stock. The 30,000 tons of IVS Pinehurst couldn’t jump into the market this quickly and change into subsidy “GoK 90/-”, which is today’s new feature in Kenya. They want to look like a saviors, instead of the ones who created this. But it is suspect that milled in March dropped on the marked instant after the subsidized maize we’re released. It seems like clockwork.
So the questions doesn’t stop with the sudden drop and the evident approach. As Port of Mombasa and Millers clearly has worked in accordance with the government. As they had the papers for the package of flour and could quickly deliver it to the shops. Therefore, this seem like a planned enterprise as the delivered flour, which should gone from port to millers. Really hit the stores in amp-speed. Little two quick for that amount.
It makes it seem like it all was a short-con by the Jubilee, to gain popularity on the staple-food. As their stories of origin of the vessel and the maize, that even been countered by the Mexican Authorities, as well as the vessel came from Mauritius and not South Africa. There are certain aspect of this story, that seem like a ploy. To get the prices down, but at the same time make sure the millers are getting more for the maize, than they did before. Also, make sure the profits are steady on the grounds of drought and yields. As the subsidized maize flour will surely benefit the private producers, who already earn on the higher prices.
There are questions that will not be answered, the reality is that there are certain signs that Kenyans shouldn’t be duped. Surely, the price is better now after the subsidize from Jubilee. Still, the look of artificial prices and sudden drop that the government can do. Also, that the millers could label GoK so quickly. Shows there certain aspects that the Jubilee and the Millers didn’t consider. The suspicious intent is because the Jubilee has always been more promotion and PR than actually considering their policies. That is the legacy they will leave behind. Peace.