Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Kenya faces cash crunch as workers’ salaries delay

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Kenya’s government does not have cash to pay its public sector workers, as the country’s economic woes compound.

Civil servants went on the Easter holidays without their salaries for March.

Kenya’s deputy president, Rigathi Gachagua confirmed the delays but blamed it on the previous government’s handling of the economy.

“It is true we are having challenges in paying salaries. We are having challenges in giving money to governors because the handshake government ruined this economy,” Gachagua told a gathering on Sunday.

Kenya’s government said it doesn’t want to default on its debts and interest payments on loans, hence the decision to fulfil that obligation at the expense of paying salaries.

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President William Ruto on Monday said the country will not take out loans to pay civil servants after union groups threatened to go on strike.

He said the salaries would be paid from taxes collected by the revenue authority.

His deputy, Gachagua signaled that there are plans to ensure that taxes collected in the coming days go into paying workers.

“What we are collecting this week will pay the salaries and other requirements,” he said.

Kenya’s public debt now amounts to sixty five percent of the national revenue.

The country needs more than $420m monthly to pay the salaries and pensions for civil servants.

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