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Written 11:52 AM Mar 9, 1995 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines

Kenya: IMF under fire

From New Kenya Network, 9 March 1995

Toronto, March 9- The New Kenya Network has criticised the International Monetary Fund for its recent decision to pledge 200 million dollars in loans to the corrupt and dictatorial government of President Daniel arap Moi.

We challenge Walter Maher (the IMF representative in Kenya) to substantiate his claims that there have been "improvements in he reform programme" in the last several years.

The IMF austerity measures have brought nothing but misery and deprivation for the majority of the Kenyan people.

How can anyone claim that greater unemployment, hunger, child poverty, crime and degeneration in social services to be an improvement?

The only people who have benefited from privatisation of parastatals are the same corrupt officials and senior politicians who ran them into the ground in the first place and those serving the interests of transnationals.

To reward a tyrant Moi with millions of dollars at a time when the KANU government is in the middle of one of the most severe crackdowns in recent years is simply scandalous.

The IMF announcement comes in the same week that we have news from Kenya that an attempt was made on the life of Mirugi Kariuki, a former political prisoner and human rights lawyer. Reports indicate that Mirugi escaped an arranged "accident" during which his car was extensively damaged by a tractor.

Several opposition figures, including Anyang Nyongo have been arrested.

Sources close to FORD-Kenya, one of the main opposition parties in Kenya, tell New Kenya Network that in the four weeks ending March 8, over 100 youths have been arrested in Bungoma, Western Kenya and held incommunicado for lengthy periods.

Several have appeared in hastily convened kangaroo courts with visible signs of torture. In one case a young man showed human rights lawyers his extensively damaged private parts which he testified was the result of police torture to make him "confess" to being a member of the February Eighteenth Movement which the Moi regime is claiming to be conducting guerrilla warfare from neighbouring Uganda.

Lawyers who have intercepted these youths on their way to their "confessions" and orchestrated trials have learnt that the accused are instructed by the police to implicate opposition MPs, notably Dr.Mukhisa Kituyi, George Kapten, Paul Muite and Anyang Nyongo as being the masterminds behind the alleged "terror campaign".

Over the years, internationally respected human rights bodies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, African Rights and Lawyers Committee for Human Rights have exposed the Moi government's lies about external threats to the KANU regime. The Kenya government has repeatedly used Uganda, Libya, "Communism" etc as scapegoats whenever it launches an attack on democratic rights and freedoms.

Contrary to the Moi government's claims, there has not been a single guerrilla encounter which has been independently verified to have taken place between the KANU regime and its opponents.

It is the Kenya government which has launched an all out war on its own citizens.

In the course of its 32 year old tyrannical rule, the KANU regime has conducted genocidal campaigns against the Kenyan Somali population living in the North East Province; the Gikuyu community living in the Rift Valley and Central Province; the Abaluhyia nationalities in Western Province and the Rift Valley; the Luo ethnic group in Nyanza province and thousands of Kenyans of all nationalities from all over the country who have dared to stand up and demand the restoration of democracy.

Well documented cases of state sponsored ethnic cleansing have gone unpunished.

This is the government that the IMF has now decided to reward using the hard earned dollars of millions of tax payers and toiling people from around the world.

The New Kenya Network demands that the IMF must stop being a slush fund for tyrants.

Instead, the IMF should review its decision and make all future loans to the Kenya government subject to a genuine improvement in the human rights record of Moi and the ruling KANU party.

The IMF should use its authority over Moi to make his KANU government desist from harassing its political opponents, guarantee freedom of the press, protect refugees living within its borders, normalise relations with all its neighbours and bring known police torturers to court to answer for their gross human rights violations.

The New Kenya Network calls on the international community to bring pressure to bear on the IMF to end its cynical role as an accomplice in propping up dictatorial governments such as the Moi-KANU regime in Kenya.