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IMPRESSED: Kilifi North MP Owen Baya addresses journalists in his office on August 22  Image: ELIAS YAA
 
In Summary
  • The deal was reached in secrecy and without public participation.
  • The agreement puts a strategic national asset at risk.

The government and any person who wants to develop can borrow. You cannot say that you will develop and become rich without borrowing.

It is good to borrow to develop yourself.

Government releases it assets to sovereign bonds. The government will do that and Kenya Ports Authority is a government asset. 

But the problem is, there is borrowing and there is irresponsible borrowing. And the second thing is ,how well is the money that comes from the borrowing utilised? 

Then the third aspect is whether the venture you are borrowing for is profitable or are you putting the asset at risk?

The Coast people are concerned because of three things. The money that has been borrowed we saw how it was used; the SGR project was exaggerated.

What the money was borrowed for is not making profit, so it is putting the asset at risk. This is a public asset – a strategic asset for the people of the Coast.

So they have put something that is a strategic asset of the Coast at risk. It is not just going to be a danger to the country but also to the people of the Coast and that is why the people of Coast are unhappy about it, because they were not involved in making the decision to borrow using that asset.

Even they ignored the principle of public participation in matters of borrowing. So people of the Coast are reading about it in the papers, that the asset was used for borrowing and nobody has come out to explain whether it is true or not.

We are asking why the secrecy if it was done in good faith? Or there was a deliberate attempt to sacrifice an asset at the Coast for the purposes of benefitting other people because the money was not properly used? 

We know what happened to the Standard Gauge Railway project. The project was exaggerated. That is our concern as the people of the Coast.

We will hold this government responsible in case anything goes wrong. By Owen Baya, The Star

 

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