The Chinese government has defended President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee administration against accusations of over-borrowing to fund key infrastructural projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Min said that the construction of the new railway line to substitute the old colonial rail line was an investment that would bring rewards to Kenya in the long run.
Zhang, who led senior Chinese government officials during the launch of the new Standard Gauge Railway by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa, said that Kenya is getting the value of the money by the project it was undertaking, dismissing President Uhuru’s critics who said he was subjecting Kenyans to huge national debts.
“When a debt is put in the right project, it is not a burden,” Zhang said in a statement.
He added, “The investment will give the money back since SGR is the largest infrastructural project in Kenya and it will lead to economic growth of the whole region, which means that the debt will be paid.”
The Chinese provided 90 per cent of the Sh327 billion spent to build the 472km line between Mombasa and Nairobi, while President Uhuru Kenyatta has secured additional funds from China to fund the third face of the SGR project from Naivasha to lakeside city of Kisumu.
The opposition led by National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga has been pointing fingers on President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee administration saying that they were burdening Kenyans with the huge debts that arose from foreign borrowing.