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Chinese loans don’t bother me, Uhuru tells CNN

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President Uhuru Kenyatta is questioning why Kenya’s debt critics only focus on debt owed to China while there are other states that have lent money to the country.

Mr Kenyatta says Kenya has a “healthy mix of debt” because the country’s lenders are not only China but also Japan, United States, and many others.

The president made the remarks in an interview with CNN‘s Richard Quest that was recorded last Friday and aired on Monday night.

Mr Quest was probing the president on whether he is weary of China’s “another agenda” in the loans it is giving to African states.

“Why are we focusing ourselves only on one lender?” Mr Kenyatta asked.

“As far as I am concerned, we have a very healthy mix of debt from the multilateral lenders — who are basically the World Bank and the African Development Bank — to bilateral lenders like Japan, China, France, all who are participating and working with us to help us achieve our objectives,” added Mr Kenyatta.

On the question of China’s intentions, he replied: “We have an infrastructure gap that we need to fill and we are going to work with our partners across the globe who are willing to partner and to work with us.”

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The president noted that Japan is the biggest lender to Kenya’s port projects while France is a major funder of electricity generation projects.

He also insisted that Kenya’s high ratio of debt against the gross domestic product (GDP) does not bother him.

“What would worry me is if the debt that we have incurred has gone into recurrent expenditure, has gone into paying salaries or electricity bills and so on and so forth. But what we have utilised our debt for is to close the infrastructure gap,” he said.

Mr Quest also wanted to know whether Mr Kenyatta would be interested in having a review of the Constitution so he can serve for a third term.

“I’m not interested in a third term,” Mr Kenyatta replied.

He also disclosed that his “handshake” pact with ODM leader Raila Odinga was towards bringing an end to the animosity that engulfs Kenya every time an election is nearing.

“We’ve said, ‘Look, we don’t have to always agree on everything. But we can agree on things Kenya, and we can agree that this issue of cyclical elections has to come to an end,'” said Mr Kenyatta.​

nation.co.ke

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Africa

Kenyans reject Uhuru’s avocado, baby carrots deal with Mauritius

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The news that Mauritius had lifted a ban on Kenyan avocados has not been well received by the Kenyan online community.

Kenyans online have lamented that they are already grappling with a decrease in production of their “dear avocados” and did not want a trade deal involving the produce.

The government of Mauritius lifted a ban on several Kenyan farm produce, including avocados, baby carrots, baby beans and broccoli.

The decision was is part of a trade deal made during bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his host Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

President Kenyatta said the lifting of the ban will help improve Kenya’s export and will greatly boost horticultural farmers in the country, especially women who are the majority in the sector.

At the same time, China on Sunday completed an inspection tour by two experts from the Chinese National Plant Protection Organisation who were hosted by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) for eight days as a prerequisite given by the country before it opens its market for Kenyan avocados.

ONLINE UPROAR

But online Kenyans were not happy about the recent deal with Mauritius citing shortages of the prized fruit.

“Why export when local demand and supply is still wanting?” Sarati A. Richard wondered.

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“Ile drought iko huku jamani badala zipelekwe huko Kwanza…. We don’t have an oversupply of the produce in discussion,” Migwi Sam lamented.

“DP told us guys to diversify tukasema maize maize… sasa ona,” Cherotich Carren Kiki wrote.

“This ovacado thing kumbe was true! Maize farmers kwisha,” Buluma Godwin commented.

“Ati avocado? Mkipeleka wapi? Msijaribu,” Kenneth Makau warned.

“We don’t even have enough avocadoes in Kenya to feed the demand in the country,” Wachira Jackson commented.

source:nairobinews

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PHOTOS: Uhuru arrives in Mauritius for four-day State Visit

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday evening arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius for a four-day State Visit.

The plane carrying Mr Kenyatta and his entourage touched down at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport shortly before 7pm local time.

On arrival, the President – who was received by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth – inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the special mobile force of the Mauritius Police Service followed by a 21-gun salute.

After the arrival ceremonies,  Kenyatta paid a courtesy call on the Acting President of Mauritius Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory at State House, Le Reduit.

His visit to Mauritius is largely aimed at boosting the economic, cultural and social ties between the two nations, according to PSCU.

The forum will be used to showcase trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius and Kenya.

President Kenyatta is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Prof. George Magoha (Education) among other senior government officials.

PHOTO COURTESY: PSCU

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PHOTOS: Narcotic miraa seized at JKIA

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Detectives at Jomo Kenyatta airport, Nairobi, have intercepted 500 kilogrammes of narcotic dry miraa concealed as tea packets for export to the US, Australia and Austria.

The drugs were hidden in 52 packets, packed as green stevia tea, according to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

DCI on Tuesday said the packets were sent by various exporters and were on their way out when detectives smoked out the drugs during a routine screening.

The heroin that was found hidden inside speakers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority has issued a seizure notice on the narcotics.

While this was khat (also qat) laced with hard drugs, debate on whether miraa is a drug or a harmless stimulant has been raging on for years.

The leaf, whose active ingredient is cathinone, is grown mainly in Yemen and East Africa— Kenya, Ethiopia, some parts of Uganda and in Madagascar.

It has been associated with various health problems, such as impotence in men, dental complications as well as heart conditions.

The compounds cathinone and cathine, active ingredients of the mild stimulant, were listed in a schedule of harmful compounds in the 2000s, effecting the ban on the crop in the US, Norway, Canada and Sweden.

Khat is quasi-legal (its legality is ambiguous), as Lee Cassanelli, a scholar who wrote a seminal chapter on the drug, once said.

The heroin that was found concealed as make-up. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Kenya, it is not only legal but also a main cash crop in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.

Miraa gained popularity in the rest of the world after Somalis, who are very fond of it, trevelled with it around the globe.

But in 2013, the Netherlands, which acted as a transport hub for the drug to rest of the world, also banned it.

The then Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers is quoted by Radio Netherlands as saying that 10 percent of Somali men in the country were badly affected by the drug.

“They are lethargic and refuse to co-operate with the government or take responsibility for themselves or their families,” he said.

A government report released to back the ban also cited that noise, litter and perceived public threat posed by the men who used the drug were the reasons behind the move.

The UK soon after declared miraa a class C drug, banning further imports of the stimulant into the country.

Kenya’s biggest market for miraa today is Somalia, with 90 percent of the product going there.

Mogadishu once banned the stimulant after Nairobi banned direct flights between the two cities over terrorism fears.

source:nation.co.ke

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