By Raila Odinga and CORD Principals
We have noted with concern wild allegations, personal attacks and threats by senior members of the Jubilee Administration in response to our demand that the Government account for how it used the proceeds of the Eurobond debt procured in June 2014. Kenyans recall the President ordering payment of a dubious judgment debt obtained by Anglo Leasing ghosts in a foreign court so that this borrowing can proceed.
It is a cardinal duty of the Opposition to hold Government to account, and in particular to scrutinize the use of public money. The Government claims the Eurobond debt financed development projects to the tune of Ksh. 197 billion. This is a lot of projects. Yet we live in this country and we have not seen national development projects of this magnitude underway, other than those that we know are financed by other sources.
The Government has failed to produce a list of projects financed by this money. We have been in Government and we know that this information exists–it is the basis of the budget. Why is the Government not showing Kenyans the projects funded by Euro Bond money?
We are aware that Ministries have been asked to compile projects that will show how the money was used and are unable to do so because they do not have projects to show.
The Government is now accusing those asking questions of economic sabotage because the value of the bonds it sold to foreign investors has fallen. The value of the bonds has fallen because the Government is unable to provide credible answers to questions that are as much of interest to investors as they are to us, not because questions have been asked. If we keep borrowing money and squandering it, we will sooner or later default, and all serious investor knows that.
The President has recently replaced six cabinet secretaries — one third of the cabinet–due to corruption. Ruthless, even stupid, stealing of public money in the Planning and Devolution Ministry has recently been laid bare for all to see.
It is noteworthy that the Government shows this ministry as having received Ksh45 billion of Eurobond money, the second highest allocation. Indeed over 70 percent of the money was disbursed to ministries whose Cabinet Secretaries have been dismissed because of corruption. The people asking questions are not the saboteurs of the economy. The corrupt, incompetent Jubilee Government is the sole saboteur of the economy.
Three weeks ago, we urged the President to personally take charge of this matter so that it can be cleared up, lest it damages the country’s financial standing. He has not done so. Instead, the Government is resorting to the cowardly repressive tactics of the past to intimidate the people and the media doing their patriotic and professional duty of demanding answers from the Government. We are not intimidated, and we shall not be cowed. We donâ€™t get scared easily.
Mr. President, spare us the rhetoric. Spare the country your anger. Hasira ni Hasara. Rhetoric and anger are getting you nowhere. Answer the questions. Show us the projects your government funded with Euro Bond money. Prove to Kenyans that we are wrong by showing the projects.