Foreign Affairs CS sets the record straight after China rejected Kenya's Sh368 Billion SGR loan request

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma speaks after China rejected Kenya's loan request

President Uhuru Kenyatta during talks with China's President Xi Jinping (PSCU)

The government has sought to put the record straight after Kenya failed to secure a controversial loan of Ksh 368 Billion with headlines indicating that Kenya’s loan request was rejected after China set difficult terms.

Various media outlets reported that China and Kenya failed to reach an agreement on the terms of the loan, prompting the government to shelve the much-hyped extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Kisumu.

Reports indicate that the Kenyan delegation insisted that half of the 368 Billion be given as a grant and the other half as a loan with more relaxed terms, something that China was opposed to.

Irked by the media reports and in a bid to clear the air on what transpired, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma took to Twitter to explain the development that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta fail to seal the widely anticipated deal.

"Strange headlines out of Nairobi today! The relationship between Kenya and China is broader than the SGR. In fact, the SGR extension beyond Naivasha was never a priority agenda for the current mission to Beijing." Stated the CS.

According to the CS, the foreign trip to Beijing was largely a success with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Kenyatta signing numerous deals including a partnership with the private sectors for investment.

"Our focus was on growing market access, development of our industrial and special economic zones, and partnership with the private sectors for investment. Significantly, the first PPP deal was struck yesterday. So where is this headline coming from?" wondered the CS.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia confirmed that Kenya will have to devise other favorable ways to raise funds.

Eventually we will have to borrow, but you borrow what you can pay back, and then after you generate some returns you put those returns into a bigger project, which will be this one from Naivasha to Kisumu,” said the CS.


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