Home / Kenya News / MP Barasa files censure motion against CS Rotich over interest rate caps, sugar

MP Barasa files censure motion against CS Rotich over interest rate caps, sugar

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa has filed an impeachment motion against Treasury CS Henry Rotich over Kenya’s burgeoning public debt and interest rates cap.

He wants the Cabinet Secretary removed on grounds of violation of provisions of the Constitution, acts of gross misconduct, and incompetence.

In his motion, the legislator avers that “because of poor monetary leadership offered by Rotich, banks have shifted lending to government and large corporates”.

Barasa argues that Rotich failed to critically engage stakeholders and presided over the introduction of consequential interests rates cap in Kenya.

“It is very clear that the interest rates cap was not meant to serve Wanjiku’s interests but rather serve the National Treasury’s high borrowing appetite.”

“The caps were meant to create obscene profits for cartels operating in the financial sector,” reads part of the petition.

He adds: “There is no bank that has collapsed as a result of the rates cap but the government continues to borrow more money while Kenyans suffer.”

Barasa said lack of leadership at the Treasury has seen unprecedented money lenders and shylocks continue to charge borrowers obscene rates beyond the caps.

The MP further notes that Kenya’s rising public debt is an issue of global concern with stakeholders, citing World Bank warnings that the debt is not sustainable.

Barasa also claims the Treasury has turned to external commercial loans to fund deficits a situation that does not make sense.

“This appetite for commercial loans has created pressure on government’s liquidity and ability to repay arising liabilities,” he says in the motion.

The National Assembly received the motion paper on Wednesday and is yet to slot it for a plenary discussion to gauge if it fits the bill.

In the notice, Barasa says the government will use about 40.3 per cent of its revenue from tax collection to finance debt payments in the 2017/18 financial year.

The MP further states that Rotich should be held personally responsible for the importation of excess contraband sugar.

He argues that the CS, in a gazette notice, authorised all and sundry to import sugar without an upper ceiling.

“His notice did not prescribe specific conditions on quantity nor quality of the sugar to be imported,” Barasa states.

He said it is suspicious that Rotich in the same notice allowed for the importation of milk and dairy products but with conditions.

These conditions, he said, were meant to protect the local industry “but Rotich did not find it necessary to protect the local sugar industry.”

Barasa said upon learning of Rotich notice, then Agriculture CS Willy Bett tried to have the notice reversed but his attempts were thwarted and resisted by the CS.

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