Duale seeks list of China-owned firms awarded road tenders

Monday, February 7th, 2022 06:29 | By
Garissa Township Member of Parliament Aden Duale. PHOTO/COURTESY

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale wants the government to disclose names and directors of all Chinese companies awarded multi-billion shilling projects under the Transport, Energy and ICT ministries.

According to Duale, China State-owned or linked companies were benefiting from the ballooning loans China Government is lending Kenya. The debt portfolio, he said, has increased to Sh797.8 billion, much of which, he says  finance projects in the Energy, Infrastructure and ICT Sector.

“These loans have largely contributed to the country’s public debt that currently stands at Sh8 trillion against the ceiling of Sh9 trillion enacted in November 2018,” Duale says in a statement tabled in Parliament last week.

 National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi  has since directed that the matter be addressed by the Budget and Appropriations Committee and report back in three weeks.

“The issue of public debt is a serious matter. I directed the chairperson of the Budget Committee to tell the House how he plans to confront the issue,” Muturi said.

Committee chairman Kanini Kega said the debt management strategy papers showcasing the country’s debt status will be included in the report on the 2021 Budget Policy Statement (BPS).

Muturi, however, told off Kega, saying the matter raised by  Duale was valid and needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Duale said the high borrowing from China and awards of contracts to China State owned or Chinese linked companies has created a vicious cycle of borrowing from China to pay China.

 “The over borrowing from China and awards of contracts to the Chinese-linked companies has highly disadvantaged Kenya,” Duale said.

 Duale wants the Budget Committee to include a breakdown of contracts awarded by all State agencies from the year 2013/14 to date.

A report tabled in Parliament last year indicated that the total debt owed to China rose from Sh726.9 billion in September 2019 to Sh784.1 billion in September 2021, about 65 percent of total bilateral debts. This means that for every Sh100 bilateral debt, Sh65 is a debt owed to China.

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