81pc of Kenyans feel angry or fearful over country’s foreign debt: poll


FILE PHOTO | President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2018 summit of the ...
FILE PHOTO | President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2018 summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 76percent said they think most of Kenya's loans are from China. PHOTO/ PSCU

In Summary

The top three things that respondents said concern the most about foreign level debt were that:
  1. Future generations will have to repay it for a long time;
  2. Kenya will default on repayments which will be a national embarrassment
  3. If Kenya defaults on payments it will lose resources, facilities and installations to foreigners.

81percent of Kenyans feel angry, anxious or fearful over the level of the country’s foreign debt, a poll conducted by Infotrak has revealed.

Also Read: Uhuru assents to Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2021, budget pushes up borrowing by Ksh.125.7B

45percent of those who took part in the survey said they feel anxious; 19percent registered feelings of fear; 17 percent said they are angered while 6 percent said they feel helpless.

“Kenyans from the regions of Nyanza, Western, Eastern and North Eastern are the most anxious about the level of Kenya’s foreign debt,” the Infotrak report reads.

62percent of respondents said they do not think regular borrowing from foreign countries is a good thing while 76percent said they think most of Kenya’s loans are from China.

Across all regions in the country, a majority of Kenyans said they are opposed to regular borrowing of loans from foreign countries: Central (69pc); Coast (67pc); Rift Valley (66pc); Nairobi (62pc); Western (60pc); Nyanza (58pc); North Eastern (55pc) and Eastern (54pc).

“It is perceived that Kenya keeps getting loans for development from different countries mostly because it keeps asking for them,” the report adds.

43percent perceive bad debt as money borrowed from foreign countries that is lost or wasted through corruption; 24percent said it is money not used for intended purposes while 20percent said it is money that developing countries have difficulty paying back.

52percent rated the government’s handling of foreign debts as poor; 32percent rated it as average; 12percent gave a rating of excellent while 4percent said they don’t know.

Respondents from Western Kenya ranked highest in terms of rating government’s handling of debt as poor (61pc) followed by Coast (56pc); Central (54pc); Nairobi (54pc); Eastern (52pc); Rift Valley (49pc); North Eastern (44pc) and Nyanza (43pc).

The top three things that respondents said concern the most about foreign level debt were that future generations will have to repay it for a long time; Kenya will default on repayments which will be a national embarrassment and if Kenya defaults on payments it will lose resources, facilities and installations to foreigners.

The surveys were conducted through Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) with a target sample size of 800 respondents. Response rate was 94percent.

The survey covered 24 counties and all the eight regions of Kenya with the survey samples proportionally allocated. Rift Valley had the largest sample while North Eastern had the smallest.

 

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