Two parliamentary committees have recommended payment of Sh1.4 billion to two companies for Anglo-Leasing related projects.
The House teams said this is to avoid the risk of Kenya’s property abroad being attached.
The Budget and Appropriations Committee and its counterpart on Finance and Trade appeared to agree with Attorney-General Githu Muigai on the payments in the face of accrued interest in their report tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
To show the seriousness behind the National Treasury’s request to pay the controversial debts, a Speaker’s Kamukunji will be convened this morning to lobby MPs to support the report. Last night, intense lobbying was already under way.
The report on the Treasury’s request for parliamentary approval for payment of the money awarded by two courts in December is expected to generate heated debate in the National Assembly.
Although the two committees have recommended payment of the money, several MPs have openly opposed the proposals, expressing fear it could create an opening for similar demands in future.
The proposed payments are of two debts amounting to Sh1.4 billion awarded to First Mercantile Securities Corporation and Universal Satspace LLC.
Yesterday, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Solicitor-General Njee Muturi attended a joint committee sitting where he explained why the government must pay the money.
Mr Rotich clarified that the amount in question is Sh1.4 billion and not Sh125 billion as has been reported.
Seme MP James Nyikal said those responsible for the mess must be exposed even if Kenya pays.
Dagoretti South MP Dennis Kariuki said Kenya risks being downgraded on credit rating internationally if it fails to honour the payments.
Kenya signed Sh56bn deals
All 18 Anglo-Leasing contracts signed between 1997 and 2004 amounted to Sh56.2 billion
Of the 18, four were cancelled (Sh18.9 billion), three were delivered (Sh6.795 billion) and 11 partially finished (Sh30.56 bn)
• Kenya is trying to recover money from six of the 11 (Sh16.6 billion). Five others are still active; two of these were paid by 2012, one is still disputed and two were subject of court cases in London (2013) and Geneva (2012).
Additional reporting by John Njagi and MaryAnne Gicobi