Mu­davadi wants Uhuru to ac­count for his trips abroad

‘We should see the out­come of these for­eign trips and fig­ure out if they are fruit­ful or the gov­ern­ment is wast­ing the tax­pay­ers’ money,’ he says

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics General - IMENDE BEN­JAMIN AND NANCY AGUTU @TheS­tar Kenya

ANC leader Musalia Mu­davadi yes­ter­day said Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta should ac­count for his for­eign trips since 2013.

He said the Con­sti­tu­tion de­mands that Uhuru com­piles a re­port on the trips, which has not been done, de­spite bil­lions in tax­pay­ers’ money be­ing used to fi­nance them.

The Pres­i­dent has trav­elled to 76 des­ti­na­tions across the world since he came to power.

“At the risk of be­ing nick­named the Trav­el­ling Pres­i­dent, Uhuru has been lead­ing huge for­eign del­e­ga­tions where trade agree­ments are signed,” he told the press yes­ter­day.

The MoUs have been kept top state se­crets, rais­ing ques­tions whether the con­tent is meant for Kenyans or in­di­vid­u­als.

Mu­davadi said since Kenya em­barked on “Eco­nomic Diplo­macy” at the ad­vent of the Ju­bilee ad­min­is­tra­tion, the gov­ern­ment trade del­e­ga­tions have been pour­ing into for­eign cap­i­tals with pri­vate busi­ness­men ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Pres­i­dent. “We should see the out­come of these for­eign trips and fig­ure out if they are fruit­ful or the gov­ern­ment is wast­ing tax­pay­ers’ money. Trav­el­ling and spend­ing does not mean that some­one is work­ing. We have to see the pos­i­tive im­pact of these trips,” he said. Mu­davadi said only a few in­di­vid­u­als might ben­e­fit from the agree­ments signed by Uhuru on be­half of Kenyans.

“Kenyans have a right to know who is ben­e­fit­ing at their ex­pense. Can we be told who has been the ben­e­fi­ciary of the Eco­nomic Diplo­macy?” Mu­davadi asked. “We may be creat­ing a busi­ness oli­garchy the Rus­sian way, with dis­as­trous con­se­quences to our econ­omy in the near fu­ture,” Mu­davadi said.

Mu­davadi de­manded the gov­ern­ment re­veals the na­ture of the spi­ralling na­tional debt re­sult­ing from “a pen­chant to gob­ble up loans in­dis­crim­i­nately by the Ju­bilee regime”.

“I’m cer­tain we are com­mit­ting to very ex­pen­sive com­mer­cial loans that will not be sus­tain­able,” he said. Mu­davadi also said the stan­dard gauge rail­way is shrouded in se­crecy.

“Can they tell the coun­try whether the loan for the SGR and oth­ers they con­tinue to sign are con­ces­sion­ary or com­mer­cial?” the one-time Fi­nance min­is­ter asked.

But State House has de­fended the trips, say­ing they are good for the econ­omy and de­vel­op­ment.

Of­fi­cials said they have brought Sh10 tril­lion in for­eign in­vest­ments in the form of loans, grants and for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in three years.

They said the in­vest­ment by for­eign coun­tries and com­pa­nies in Kenya will cre­ate job and busi­ness.

/EM­MANUEL WANSON

ODM leader Raila Odinga ad­dresses a rally in Ny­acheki ward, Kisii county, yes­ter­day

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