16 May 2014

Kenya: Eurobond Due June After Anglo Leasing Payment - Uhuru

Photo: Trust.Org
Kenya's Attorney General on the spotlight over Anglo-Leasing payments.

Nairobi — Kenya now hopes to execute its $2 billion Eurobond by June after paying off the Anglo Leasing debt, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

He said the Eurobond will greatly contribute to the national budget slated for next month.

President Kenyatta explained that failure to secure the Eurobond would place a strain on the budget, leading to inefficient service delivery by the National Government and drastic pay cuts to various sectors of the government.

"The Eurobond was part of our budget for this financial year and it was a clear choice given the fact that we had already lost the cases in London and Geneva and the government ordered to pay the debts."

"There was no way we could have gone for the bond without having first cleared our international obligations."

"As of now with less than two months to go before the end of the financial year, the choice is either to start cutting back on government expenditure on programmes and service delivery to Kenyans or to pay in order for us to be able to move forward as a country," he argued.

The Head of State however warned the culprits involved in the scandal that they would face arrest and prosecution.

"I have issued fresh orders on investigations and asked Parliament to continue with their investigations and once we get the culprits they will have to pay."

"I have also asked the anti-corruption unit to ensure that the culprits are brought to book so that Kenya can get restitution and the money recovered."

President Kenyatta also put pressure on the State Law Office to ensure that Kenya does not lose cases with such cost implications in the future.

"The State Law Office should make sure that we do not lose such cases even when there is clear evidence in mistransactions," President Kenyatta said.

In 2011, the then Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua wrote to the Attorney General and the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission advising them to recover Sh3.8 billion from companies associated with businessman Deepak Kamani since he was overpaid.

In the letter dated April 11, 2011 addressed to AG Amos Wako and KACC Chief Executive Officer PLO Lumumba, Kinyua asked them to quickly initiate a process so that taxpayers get value for their money.

Kinyua had relied on a forensic audit and valuation by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on 17 Anglo Leasing type contracts that found Kamani culpable of fleecing Kenyan coffers.

PwC's valuation reports suggested GoK paid suppliers more than the value of works, goods and services delivered under each of the contracts.

"The five companies are associated with Deepak Kamani and the total amount paid is estimated at Sh3.83 billion. The recommended strategy is to cancel the contracts and recover the amount owed," Kinyua had recommended.

On Friday, President Kenyatta also criticised the travel advisories issued by the United Kingdom, United States, France and Australia, saying that the countries should instead join Kenya in the fight against terrorism.

He observed that the issuance of the advisories only strengthens the will of terrorists and gives resolve to their actions.

"With all said and done, we shall endeavour to do what we can and continue to market our country to other destinations," he said.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on Thursday pointed out that the advisories only served to spread fear and panic in the country.

While addressing journalists at State House, the President also dismissed allegations that the Anti-Terrorist Police Unit had been allocated Sh28 million in the next budget.

He said that the reported sum only covers office operations and not the unit's entire budget.

"It is argued in some of the dailies that the Anti-Terrorist Police Unit had received only Sh28 million. This is a deep misunderstanding of the nature of security funding. First, the said amount covers only the office operations of the unit."

"Secondly, the overall security budget provides for equipment and information that is shared across all units for the sake of the economy," he explained.

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