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Donor Terms Too Harsh, Says Moi

The Nation (Nairobi), 22 August 2000

Nairobi - The aid conditions imposed on Kenya recently by the Bretton Woods Institutions were too severe, President Moi said yesterday.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, he said, were harsh because they did not understand the country's development policy.

"We have been paying our debts for the past nine years but have not received anything in return," the President told wananchi in Nairobi. "Our economic growth will definately slow down as a result of the conditions." He was speaking at the opening of Times Tower Building, which was put up by the Central Bank but will be used by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

President Moi accused the Bretton Woods institutions of not appreciating Kenya's political stability.

"Without political stability, there can never be any economic development and the IMF and the World Bank should know that. People have been acting as if there is another Kenya government. If it were not for my patience, things could not have been where they are today."

Kenyans had worked hard to improve relations with the World Bank and the IMF yet the government's policies were still misunderstood.

The country had undergone economic difficulties since 1991 but the government was still committed to improving wananchi's living standards.

The President challenged top government officers to do their best for the country.

"These conditions have been the toughest ever imposed on Kenya. We must act and eliminate all evils that hinder our development. If we do what is required of us, then I will not feel embarrassed when I go to NewYork. Normally when they see me, they know I am going to beg for money," he said.

President Moi said Kenya was surrounded by countries with less economic development. The country's education standards were the highest in the region and its gender policies progressive.

Students from Tanzania and Uganda, he said, preferred Kenya's system of education.

"Do not equate Kenya with any other country in Africa. There are over 3000 secondary schools in Kenya. How many do our neighbours have?" he asked.

The Kenya Revenue Authority officially took over the building from the central bank and will give up its old offices on Capital Hill to the Judiciary.

Cabinet Minister Chris Okemo said the government had handed Times Towers to KRA to strengthen tax administration.

Central bank Governor Micah Cheserem said the 36-storey Times Tower was built at a cost of Sh2.8 billion. Construction started in 1992 and took eight years.

He handed over a CBK dividend cheque of Sh1 billion to the President.

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