Kenya: Citizens urge IMF to cancel $2.34 billion loan

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Citizens in Kenya are calling upon the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cancel a $2.34 billion loan approved for the country.

Several petitions were launched in response to the loan approval with citizens urging the IMF to stop providing loans to East Africa’s largest economy. Among the complaints are claims that the country is already in too much debt and accusations that much of the cash will be embezzled by state officials in the country, which has a long-running problem with high-level corruption.

Kenyans sign petition against $2bn loan

Thousands of Kenyans are signing petitions on the IMF website since the financial group approved the loan last week and many more are taking to social media to raise their concerns. One petition had more than 230,000 signatures by Friday April 4, calling upon the IMF to withhold the funds until a “more accountable government is elected into office next year.”

Many have cited comments from President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier this year that as much as $18.6 million is stolen from government funds every day.

In a statement this week, the IMF said Kenya will need to implement some austerity to manage the economy with debt calculated to peak at 73% of GDP in 2022-23. The financial group said the latest loan, in addition to the suspension of debt service, will help the country meet its medium-term needs.

Featured image: “Nairobi Market 1971b” flickr photo by Robin Hutton https://flickr.com/photos/robinhutton/29861588 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license