COMPANY CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES

Call national dialogue over economic crisis - Lusaka

Warns failure to address issue could lead to chaos and rise in criminal activities

In Summary
  • Lusaka proposes candid discussion with Executive, Judiciary and other stakeholders on what is ailing the country
  • KEPSA attributed job losses to high taxes, double taxation and lack of support from the state
Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka follow proceedings in Naivasha
TALKS: Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka follow proceedings in Naivasha
Image: GEORGE MURAGE

The Senate has called for an urgent meeting to address the current economic crisis which has seen companies close shop or lay off thousands of workers.

Failure to address the current issue could lead to chaos and rise in criminal activities, Speaker Ken Lusaka warned.

He said there was a need to set aside personal feelings and political alignments and face the current crisis head on.

 
 

“We need to have a candid discussion with the Executive, Judiciary and other stakeholders on what is ailing the country and come up with a way forward,” he said.

The Speaker pointed to the recent closure of Mumias, Nzoia and Portland companies as a proof that all was not well within the country.

“Senate is ready to initiate these talks as the country is headed in the wrong direction and soon those loosing jobs will be coming for those earning,” he warned.

Lusaka spoke during the second Senate roundtable workshop in Naivasha which has brought together the private sector and senators.

“We need to address the issue of bureaucracy and red-tape in the country and these are blocking investors keen to put their money in the country,” he said.

KEPSA chairman Nick Nespit attributed the high job losses to high taxes, double taxation and lack of support from the state.

Nespit noted that the high number of regulatory bodies coupled with demand for numerous licenses by the government was sending away investors.

 
 
 

“Kenya has been ranked among the top countries in the ease of doing business but we are doing terribly in supporting the private sector, hence the job losses,” he said.

He added failure by the national and county governments to pay pending bills had affected SMEs forcing many to close shop.

“Our leaders have shown the youths that the way to get rich fast is through corruption and this has been worsened by high taxes and over-regulation,” he said.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki pointed to double taxation by counties on perishable goods as one of the major challenges currently facing entrepreneurs.

“We are now relying on vegetables from neighbouring countries as we have turned our land into real estate and this is a major threat to food security,” she said.