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President Kenyatta in heated exchange with NTV’s Mark Masai[Video]

Mark Masai stands his ground

A screen grab of President Uhuru Kenyatta during yesterday's State of the Nation address

President Uhuru Kenyatta and NTV journalist Mark Masai were yesterday involved in a heated exchange during the President’s State of The Nation address.

The President who was addressing the nation from State House in Mombasa took on the journalist when he questioned the government’s borrowing and what the president would do to addres the baloonong national debt.

Uhuru challenged the journalist to provide facts and confirm how much debt Kenya has but the journalist who appeared to have his facts right stood his ground.

In defense, the President maintained that his government would continue to borrow as long as the funds are used for development.


When you talk about our debt, do you know what the debt of the Japanese government is or what is Japan’s debt? The president questioned.

I am not in Japan so I am not really concerned about Japans debt because…Kenya’s debt is 4.5 Trillion.”Masai responded.

Do you know what Kenya’s debt is…no no no. Talk like an economist? The president pressed further.

You would have a point if you were saying that we are incurring debt for consuming…My friend for those kinds of reasons I will borrow…I will continue to borrow not to consume but to develop.


Kenya’s debt and China in focus

The national debt has tremendously increased with China accounting for the lion’s share at 57 per cent.

The Asian economic giant has however come under sharp focus amidst claims of high interest loans and exploitative business practices.

Case in point is the SGR where claims of harassment and mistreatment of Kenyan workers surfaced earlier this year. Kenans were also irked by allegations that Chinese take up jobs that can be performed by Kenyans and are paid more than twice of what their Kenyan counterparts earn for the same job.

The deals are reportedly tilted in favour of China with massive infrastructural projects funded by China being implemented by firms from China.


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