Presidential Debate: Fact-Checking DP Ruto’s Claim on Domestic Borrowing

When responding to questions about Kenya’s ballooning debt, Deputy President William Ruto stated that 80% of Kenya’s borrowing is domestic. 

“70, almost 80% of all our borrowing is actually domestic. Which means we are also hurting our own enterprises locally. Access to credit becomes a big challenge.”

Background

Domestic debt, otherwise known as internal debt is a form of debt borrowed by a government from local entities within the country. The government uses instruments such as treasury bonds, treasury bills or government stocks to borrow from investors to finance development projects. The Senate Committee on Finance and Budget warned of the increasing risks of interests attached to the domestic debt. 

Verification 

According to the Central Bank of Kenya’s Quarterly Economic Review for January to March 2022, the share of domestic debt stood at 49.9014% of total national debt. See screen grab below.

These figures correspond with Public Debt data available on the CBK website. Domestic debt that as at April sat at Sh4.227 trillion is approximately 49.9014% of total public debt which is presently Sh8.47 trillion. See screen grab below.

Verdict 

William Ruto’s claim that 80% of Kenya’s borrowing is domestic is FALSE.

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Thomas Mukhwana

Thomas Mukhwana is a broadcast journalist and fact-checker. He is passionate about storytelling, sustainable development and policy in the African context.