Uhuru’s Madaraka Speech on GDP Growth Contradicts Treasury’s Budget Statement

“We have almost tripled the wealth of our nation from a GDP of 4.5 trillion in 2013, to close to 13 Trillion currently,” President Uhuru Kenyatta proclaimed over his Madaraka Day speech on June 1, 2022 at Uhuru Gardens.

Comparing his administration to that of his predecessor Mwai Kibaki has been a protruding trait in his speeches. In this fact-check, for instance, Piga Firimbi flagged claims made over President Kenyatta’s last state of the nation address, where he falsely claimed that he doubled the total electricity coverage in the country since the offset of his tenure in 2013. At this address, the president also lied about the progress of his Linda Mama programme, using data from 2014 to illustrate the programme’s success, yet Linda Mama was launched in 2016.

On the national GDP claim, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani in his latest budget statement to the National Assembly as issued on April 7, 2022 presented contradicting figures when he said;

“The economy has grown by 155% from the value of KSh5.3 trillion in 2013 to KSh13.5 trillion in 2022.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s statement on the current GDP being “close to 13 trillion”, partly checks out with the figure issued in the budget statement which caps the current GDP at Ksh13.5 trillion. Besides the budget statement, the current GDP has not been published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) or the Central Bank of Kenya.

However, in a fact-check of Ukur Yatani’s budget statement by Africa Check, the claim that the national GDP in 2013 was at Ksh 5.3trillion is FALSE.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s claim that the GDP in 2013 was ksh4.5 trillion is on the other hand INACCURATE based on the KNBS 2015 Economic Survey, which shows that the national GDP in 2013 was Ksh4.7 trillion. This GDP rate is also reiterated in an article published by Reuters, where former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru is quoted to have said that the “economic output was calculated to be Ksh4.76 trillion shillings in 2013”.

Contrary to Ukur Yatani’s budget statement, a national GDP of Ksh5.3 was not recorded in 2013 but in 2014. See screengrab of the KNBS Economic Survey 2015 below.

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