Kenya ‘won’t hand over’ port to China to pay debt
Kenya’s Finance Minister Ukur Yatani has denied
reports that the country risks losing its main port
to China should it fail to pay huge loans advanced
for the construction of a new railway line.
The new 472km (293 mile) railway cost close to three times
the international standard and four times the original estimate.
A local newspaper reported on Monday that Chinese lenders
could take control of the port of Mombasa if Kenya
defaults on the $3.2bn (£2.3bn) loan.
Kenya ‘won’t-hand-over’ port to China –
But in a statement, the finance minister said
“there is absolutely no risk of China or any other
country taking over the port”.
He said the loans for the railway cannot
“be paid through any other fund or any other entity without the approval of parliament”.
“The government of Kenya cannot and has not pledged
public assets as security for a debt because such an action
only violates provisions of its existing loans agreements,” Mr Yatani said.