Cord cites unanswered queries in Eurobond, insists on audit

Friday February 12 2016

Cord coalition leader Raila Odinga speaks during a public forum on the Eurobond issue organised by the opposition at Ufungamano House on February 11, 2016. Mr Odinga has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare the Eurobond saga a “national disaster” and order an independent audit. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cord coalition leader Raila Odinga speaks during a public forum on the Eurobond issue organised by the opposition at Ufungamano House on February 11, 2016. Mr Odinga has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare the Eurobond saga a “national disaster” and order an independent audit. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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The civil society and the opposition coalition Cord have yet again said there were “unanswered questions” on the Eurobond saga.

At a public forum in Nairobi, Cord leader Raila Odinga said that National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his PS Kamau Thugge and Accountant-General Bernard Ndung’u should resign and be prosecuted.

He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare the saga a “national disaster” and order an independent audit.

Mr Odinga claimed Kenya Private Sector Alliance was being used to cover up the mess.

The meeting at Ufungamano House brought together economists, politicians and civil society organisations questioning how funds from a sovereign bond were used.

But Mr Odinga used the forum to claim that the government was “in denial.”

He added: “It is strange but hardly surprising that the Kenya Private Sector Alliance has swung to the defence of the government. This is a continuation of the campaign of lies and cover-ups over the funds. They defend the government because they think they own the government,” he said.

Two weeks ago, chief executive of Kenya Bankers Association Habil Olaka, who doubles up as the chairman of the Public Finance Sector Board of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, wrote that the Eurobond money had been well accounted but it was up to the Auditor-General to declare if the entire process was okay.

EXTERNAL LOAN

The Eurobond fetched Kenya Sh275 billion in 2014. The National Treasury says the government spent $604 million to pay an external loan.

Mr Olaka, in a column he wrote in the Nation, said the $604 million was not stolen.

“This was a loan legitimately contracted and repayable,” he argued

A document published by the National Treasury to show how transactions were done, was claimed at the forum to have redacted information.

Mr Kwame Owino, the CEO of the Institute of Economic Affairs, told the forum there is a need for Parliament to commission a private firm to conduct forensic audit to allay any suspicions that have built over the saga.

Mr Odinga said he was awaiting the Auditor-General’s report.