Kenyan Businesses Suffocate Amid Raising Political Temperature.
While the decision by Kenya’s Supreme Court to annul the results of August’s presidential election was hailed around the world as a step forward for democracy, a new vote will hangs on the balance as we see political temperatures starting to rise amid the readiness of the referee to supervise the next polls. The country’s economic suffers a big deal with reported crumbling of the Nairobi Stocks Exchange on the day of supreme court ruling. The foreign investors have been hit with valid uncertainty and the renewed possibility of violence based on the history of the young energetic nation.
Kenya, with East Africa’s most developed economy and most robust democracy, is often held up as a model in the region. However the economic growth almost comes to a halt every five years due to political interferences, in parts of the capital, Nairobi, opposition supporters celebrated into the early hours of Saturday, while others wondered if their investments and businesses might be threatened by the stunning development.
“Who even elected you? Were you? We have a problem and we must fix it,” a view that I hold dearly to my heart and that I wish that fellow Kenyans would agree with me, for us to step ahead and remediate it. A simple scenario as presented to the Kenyans, Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party are the pro-business force committed to improving the economy, while Odinga’s message resonates more with the economically marginalized, such as the Luo, and those fed up with the country’s endemic corruption. Both parties hold valid arguments, but when halting the whole economy they are not doing any good to the ordinary Kenyan.
It was evidently covered by the media that Kenyans trust with the judicial system was boosted a millions time but with the economy crumbling and stagnating its growth will the trust be benefiting the ordinary Kenyans “I never expected it to turn out the way it did,” he said, standing next to one of his paintings, showing police storming the neighborhood after last month’s election. “Most of us thought it would favor the Jubilee side, and I had very little faith in Kenya’s judicial system. This has given us so much hope.” “But now no one is ready to part with his money so am not selling anything in the last one week. With bills to pay and children to feed I want these elections done and gone so that we can move on”.
Few meters across the street, however, in the Kiambu market area, businessmen expressed frustration that the country has to redo the election and said he fears that the opposition is just trying to drag the country backward. Life had gone back to normal. We are all trying to earn a living and make our lives better, they lamented. “We cannot do this the whole year; we have to build the country.”
The country business executives in the board rooms do have reason to dread the elections. It’s good to note the economy thrives in careful management of available resources. The election is the worst thing that can happen to the Kenyan economy everything is disrupted, am sure the budgets alone will take two years to recover from. Everyone is drained and the ordinary people don’t spend. Whereas as the politicians with their vigorous campaigning, massive spending on bribes for voters and threat of violence, are a time to hold off on making investments and, if possible, move assets outside the country.
Today the country is under even more strain, with a severe drought in the north that has harmed agricultural output and spurred inflation, new budgets for fresh polls. In the short term, the biggest flash point will be the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which oversaw the last election and will organize the fresh polls as ordered by the Supreme Court.