With Hashtag #StopLoaningKenya, Angry Kenyans on Tuesday took to social media to protest a $2.34 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to Kenya, arguing that the East African country is already overburdened with loans.
Over 200,000 Kenyans have signed an online petition, asking the IMF to cancel the recently approved loan as previous disbursements to Kenya have been lost in corruption scandals and remain unpaid. Many Kenyans have on social ask questions, call for IMF to cancel the loan because they feel the Kenya government loses Ksh 2 B per day
PK Kasirim on Facebook replying to DW Africa question of
Nairobi, however, has argued that the amount is necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce debt vulnerabilities.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani says access to vaccines is critical, and help from the international community is urgently required.
Antoinette Sayeh, IMF deputy managing director, said in a statement that “the Kenyan authorities have demonstrated a strong commitment to fiscal reforms during this unprecedented global shock, and Kenya’s medium-term prospects remain positive.”
Saalim Gooner, a Facebook user, posted on the official IMF Facebook page, asking: “Why are you approving loans to this irresponsible government of Kenya? You are sinking our economy deeper.”
Mwihaki Mwangi, another social media activist, commented: “Stop lending money to [the] Kenyan government. It ends up in few corrupt pockets. No change in living standards to the common citizens. We are becoming poorer and poorer. Heavy taxes levied on our meagre salaries. Reverse the loans. We don’t need it.”
On Twitter, the “International Monetary Fund” was trending all day with over 10,000 posts from Kenyans.
However, Prominent Kenyan activist Mutemi wa Kiama arrested over Cybercrime; accused of making a viral notice with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s image warning the world against entering into loan agreements with him on behalf of the country.
Activist Edwin Kiama was arrested last evening. He's being taken to court this morning on cyber crime offences. The police are accusing him of making the below public notice asking the world to stop lending money to Kenya. The money Uhuruto borrows is stolen. #ReleaseKiama pic.twitter.com/rNRJlheeIN
— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) April 7, 2021