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January 20, 2019

Traders lobby worried by early campaigns

State department of Trade and Cooperative PS Chris Kiptoo with Kenya National chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Kiprono Kittony at the launch of the Learn, Network and Grow Project in Nairobi on February 9, 2017. /ENOS TECHE
State department of Trade and Cooperative PS Chris Kiptoo with Kenya National chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Kiprono Kittony at the launch of the Learn, Network and Grow Project in Nairobi on February 9, 2017. /ENOS TECHE

Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has warned that rising political temperatures will negate the country’s positive economic course.

In a statement, KNCCI national chairman Kiprono Kittony said referendum and premature 2022 succession campaigns that are gaining momentum will derail the country’s economy poised to grow 6.02 per cent this year.

“An unstable political environment may slow the economy while poor economic performance my lead to political unrest,” Kittony said.

Prolonged election fever in Kenya spanning August 2017 to March last year saw the country’s economy tank as investors adopted wait and see attitude. 

The country witnessed calmness after President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition Chief Raila Odinga reconciled.

Kittony asked politicians to focus on reforming the country’s political economy and improve the quality of life for the people that were ruined by political activities in 2017.

“The chamber wishes to urge political class to desist from the early campaigns that we are witnessing.  Let us use 2019 and 2020 to rebuild economy and unity,’’ Kittony said.

Businesses are still struggling to recover from the prolonged election cycle despite a positive economic outlook by World Bank as manifested by profit warnings by listed companies, bear run at the Nairobi Securities Exchange and limited access to credit.

He said the chamber is committed to engage both national and county governments to foster an enabling business environment for SMEs.

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