Raila has asked the US banks to admit their role in the embezzlement of $1Billion Eurobond belonging to Kenya or give a full account of the funds to prove that they were not part of this grand theft.
This takes us back to sometime in the last few years, when Kenya issued its first sovereign bond amounting to a whooping $2.75 billion, winning the hearts of the entire world.
The feat was described undeniably as the biggest debut of any African country on the international bond market. The fund also showed that East Africa’s largest economy was making her way to the top of the economic ladder.
However, Eurobond which placed Kenya in global map in the past has now turned into a symbol that is making Kenya saunter where it concerns corruption and government misappropriation of public fund. It no longer a case of an accomplishment but a case of embezzlement of $ 1 Billion Eurobond.
Arguments over the way the money was disbursed has become a counterattack between President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling party and its opposition.
According to Opposition leader Raila Odinga, the ruling government has not been able to render reliable account of how half of the money raised from the bond issue was spent. The CORD leader and former prime minister on Jan.14 held a good number of press conferences in Nairobi, dressing-down the way Uhuru’s administration painstakingly carried out a deceptive scheme to divert Kenya’s taxpayers money.
Raila Odinga stated that some receipts indicate that $999 million of the money raised from the Eurobond was transferred from the government’s account which it runs with JP Morgan Chase in New York to one with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Sept 8, 2014.
Raila insists that the alleged proceeds have not been represented in auditor reports for the last two years and there is no proof that the money was ever paid into the government’s public funds account.
He further urged the US banks to give a detailed statement of account to help determine the whereabouts of the fund and also to vindicate themselves that they didn’t take part in the grand theft.
Nobody knows whose account it ended up in or whether it came into Kenya at all,”.
However Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission tasked to battle corruption has revealed that there is no evidence pointing that any money was lost from the Eurobond fund.
According to Treasury secretary Kamau Thugge, the purported missing fund was included on the budget for last year as it has been mapped out for this financial year.
CORD’s is an issue of misreading the tables.
Well, even though Raila Odinga is yet to bring a proof forward to back his claims which he called “an international money laundering” scheme, Kenyatta’s administration hasn’t proven to the public that the Eurobond—planned to cut down interest rates, inflation, and make funds available for social amenities like geothermal plants, expanded airports, or a railway between Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa— has achieved its aim.
Taking each of the aforementioned in terms, last year, Kenyans incurred a rise in cost of loans after interest rates averaged 15.4%. On rate of inflation, the rate which is at 8% since December, has been consistently more than 7.5% what the government targeted.
Therefore the supposed bid to cut down interest and inflation rate through Eurobond hasn’t been achieved. Finally, on the Eurobond’s contribution toward the country’s infrastructure needs, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for the treasury, Henry Rotich, has been able to list of infrastructural projects which consumed the bond.
The ministries can’t even specify what money came from what source particularly the money they earned from the Exchequer couldn’t be accounted whether it came from VAT, income taxes, customs duties, excise taxes, domestic borrowing or the Eurobond.”
Instead, the rates on the Eurobond climbed and the infrastructure bond floated by the CBK late last year saw an initial rate of 11%, twice the rate that was earned from Eurobond. Meaning that the government will have to borrow from international markets at a higher rate than before.
This is unquestionably creating bias in the minds of [people who had faith in the government. That brings to mind why Kenya is ranked 145th out of 174 countries on Transparency International’s global corruption perceptions index.