Kenyan Protests: President Ruto Dissolves Cabinet

Ruto Sets Up Independent Task Force To Audit Kenya’s Public Debt

3 weeks ago
1 min read
In a move aimed at addressing growing concerns over Kenya’s escalating public debt, President William Ruto announced on Friday the establishment of an independent task force to conduct a comprehensive audit of the country’s public debt.
The task force is expected to deliver a detailed report within the next three months, offering transparent information to the public and evaluating the historical expenditure of public resources.
Addressing the citizens of the East African nation, President Ruto emphasised the necessity of this audit, citing the continuous outcry from Kenyans over the burden of national debt on their daily lives.
“I have today appointed an independent task force to carry out a comprehensive, forensic audit of our public debt and report to us in the next three months,” Ruto declared.
He added: “This audit will provide people with clarity on the nature of our debt, how public resources have been spent, and proposals for managing our resources sustainably without burdening future generations.”
The decision to audit the country’s debt follows the withdrawal of the Finance Bill, 2024 after days of violent protest. The withdrawal resulted in a reduction of Kenya’s revenue target by Ksh. 346 billion ($2.697 billion). Despite President Ruto’s earlier commitments to curb the country’s borrowing, treasury figures revealed that Kenya’s debt level reached record highs in 2023. As of February 2024, Kenya’s public debt stood at Ksh.11.14 trillion ($86.861 billion), a situation exacerbated by external loans, exchange rate fluctuations, and increased domestic borrowing.
The independent audit task force has been assigned several critical responsibilities. These include verifying the current stock of public and publicly guaranteed debt, reconciling loan proceeds with intended appropriations, and ensuring that loan servicing aligns with the terms of the facilities. The task force will also assess whether Kenya obtained value for money in terms of loan terms, project costs, and returns on investment.
Furthermore, the audit will evaluate the adequacy of the public finance management (PFM) framework’s safeguards on debt management and recommend improvements to strengthen the governance of the nation’s public debt management system. The president stated that the job of the task force begins today.


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