Private sector bosses talk tough amid worry over economy


Business leaders address journalists at a press briefing held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. PHOTO | HUDHEIFA ADEN | NMG

Kenya's private sector executives are now taking a tougher stance against political leaders as they warn them over their harmful political rhetoric, saying they have a duty to speak out when their actions are a threat to the country's economic well-being.

Speaking to journalists in Nairobi Monday, the business leaders - through industry lobby Kepsa (Kenya Private Sector Alliance) - are demanding that politicians allow the presidential rerun to take place at its scheduled time while urging civility from leaders and Kenya's security agencies.

"This protracted political period has not been easy...order books remain soft, the real estate slowdown is affecting steel and cement business," Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) chairperson Flora Mutahi said of the key sector.

The country's business leaders are now vowing to speak truth to politicians regarding the harm they’re doing to Kenya's economy, adding that they will no longer remain silent.

"No one wins when an economy comes to a halt...because of the negative impact on investment and spending decisions, we have entered economic slowdown," Adam Smith International associate director and Kepsa vice chair Patrick Obath said.

The Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) chairman Mohamed Hersi also noted that international conference cancellations and corporate distress were effects of Kenya's "dysfunctional politics".

The move comes amid news that the United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) has cancelled a planned global prevention coalition meeting that was set to take place in Nairobi next week, citing political tensions in the country.

READ: UN cancels global conference in Nairobi on poll uncertainty

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