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Kenyans storm IMF virtual meeting

Kenyans again flooded the comment section of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Facebook page, demanding the entity should stop loaning cash to the country.

The influx of messages occurred at a time officials of the institution were engaged in a discussion dubbed climate change.

The broadcast dubbed The Exchange: Conversation for a better future which featured IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva and Christiana Figueres ended after 23 minutes with most comments on the platform emanating from angry Kenyans using the hashtag #StopLoaningKenya .

Over the last three weeks, Kenyan netizens have escalated their criticism of the international lender, after the IMF Executive Board approved a Kshs. 257 Billion loan to the country in March which aims at helping in the mitigation of the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Kenyans expressed outrage through a petition, claiming that most of the donor funds issued within the last year instead ended in people’s pockets.

Soon after, thousands of Kenyans signed the petition on CHANGE.org which drew the attention of major international media outlets.

The move comes at a time reports suggest Kenya is preparing to float a third Eurobond, after Treasury floated a tender sourcing for an arranging partner this week amid increasing anger by Kenyans over what critics say is a brutal enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown measures including a dawn to dusk curfew that has lasted more than a year.

As a result, Kenyans largely drawn from the hotels, entertainment, creative and sports industries have been venting their anger over continued lockdowns and curfews using the hashtag #UnlockOurCountry .

So far, major hotel chains like Pride Inn Hotels have expressed concerns over the future sustainability of their business, should the government fail to heed their proposals for reopening.

Many restaurants have also shut down including upscale outfit Zen Garden, Nabo Bistro, and Cafe Kaya.

On Wednesday, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala launched a vaccination drive targeted at the Hospitality industry, but on Thursday, the doors at KICC where the drive was being conducted remained closed, after the Tourism Regulatory Authority demanded full payment of registration fees, sparking outrage that a free vaccine is being exploited to extort an already exhausted work-force.

This is the second time in less than a month that Kenyans are urging the IMF to stop extending financial loans to the country.