Where's the money? Eurobond fortune arrives minus Sh40 billion
5 months ago, 20 Mar 13:35
[email protected] Central Bank of Kenya has finally received Sh169 billion from the proceeds of Eurobond II, according to the bank's statistical bulletin published yesterday. The amount is Sh40 billion short of the Sh200 billion borrowed by the country when Kenya issued the 10 and 30-year Eurobonds this year. Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich could not be reached for a comment and Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge did not answer our calls and text messages seeking an explanation over the shortfall. However, this is not the first time that the total Eurobond proceeds have not landed in the country. In 2014 Treasury used Eurobond proceeds to pay a Sh60 billion syndicated loan from an offshore account, sparking a row with Controller of Budget over breach of Article 206 of the Constitution that requires the money to be deposited at the consolidated accounts first and any expenses approved by Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo. Mrs Odhiambo, however, recanted her statement later after the Eurobond debacle became too hot. The Controller of Budget said Treasury wrote to the office on June 28, 2014 seeking approval for the repayment of the syndicated loan. We could not reach Odhiambo yesterday for a comment and her Deputy Stephen Masha declined to comment despite having been in a meeting with Rotich yesterday. “The Controller of Budget is the authorised voice of the office. Let me reach her and see that she gets back to you,” said Mr Masha. The first Eurobond, issued in 2014, has been a political fodder with the Opposition led by former Prime Minister Odinga insisting the money never reached the country. Opposition politicians led by NASA leader Raila Odinga have repeatedly claimed that money from the first Eurobond in 2014 never reached the country. Raila claims the Government could not explain the money trail and that the Auditor General could not corroborate that the money made it to the Consolidated Fund on September 8, 2014, from the offshore “special account” at JP Morgan Chase Bank in New York through “an account” at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Treasury says it received the Sh275 billion although the Government has been hard pressed to explain where the money was channelled. Auditor-General Edward Ouko had indicated he wanted to travel to New York to interview Federal Reserve Bank officials, following claims they could have taken part in falsifying Kenya’s records. This elicited the ire of President Kenyatta who criticised the auditor.
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