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President Uhuru Kenyatta Says China Isn’t Kenya’s Only Lender

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 in an interview with CNN’S Richard Quest last Friday.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (L), flanked by his wife Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta, speaks following the Electoral Commission’s official announcement of the election results on August 11, 2017 at the Bomas of Kenya in Langata, Nairobi.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner Friday of a disputed election with 54.27 percent of votes, beating his rival Raila Odinga who scored 44.74 percent, the election commission announced. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN MUCHUCHA (Photo credit should read JOHN MUCHUCHA/AFP/Getty Images)

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

The Head of State further defended the country’s relations with China saying measures are in place to control foreign debt. He also dismissed claims that Kenya is over-borrowing from China adding that the State gets funds from other nations as well.

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Uhuru reiterated that China was not the only partner that Kenya was engaging citing the US, African Development Bank, France’s AFD, Japan, and the World Bank as some of the key lenders.

“I am not worried about us borrowing, my only worry would be if that debt goes to interfere with our current expenditure,” he said.

“Our focus for now is to close the infrastructure gap in terms of roads and railway lines while creating businesses and employment for our youth.”

Uhuru said: “We are familiar with all arguments about China and their loans, but why focus only on one lender when we have a mix of lenders like Japan, France and USA?”

He said Kenya is ready and willing to partner with any country that will help it achieve its development agenda.

Still on Politics, the president said: “We don’t always have to agree on everything as leaders but we can all agree to put Kenya first.”

During the interview, President Kenyatta has also said that he is not interested in running for office even if he was granted a chance to do so after his term expires in 2022.

Kenyatta was responding to Mr. Quest in a question regarding plans to change the Constitution.

“I am not seeking to change the Constitution to cling unto power,” Uhuru said.

There is an ongoing national debate on whether the country would hold a referendum to change the structure of government.

Uhuru said he is keen to steer the country to achieve its development agenda hampered by the chaotic 2017 general elections and reiterated his commitment to save Kenya from the “cyclic chaotic events staged anytime there is an election.”

“Kenya is always a gentle and loving country except for when there is an election. This is the belief we are trying to come out of,” he said.

“As we strive to work and partner with our brothers in the opposition our main focus is to put Kenya first.”

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