KEPSA warns political violence could lead to investor flight

Speaker of Senate Kenneth Lusaka and the CEO KEPSA Carole Kariuki. The two institutions have expressed their concern over political violence in parts of the country. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

The Senate and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) are warning that political violence reported in various parts of the country could result in capital and investor flight.

With just ten months to the next year's General Election, the two institutions have called for political tolerance to protect the economic gains the country has made after the losses incurred due to Covid-19.

This came as double taxation, high cost of fuel, and rising electricity charges were identified as the major challenges currently facing traders and investors.

This emerged during the Senate Speaker's Round-Table Economic Recovery meeting with Kepsa in Naivasha.

Speaker Kenneth Lusaka condemned the violence witnessed in Kondele, Kisumu early in the week during a visit by Deputy President William Ruto to the area.

Lusaka warned that political violence could derail the recovery of the economy.

Lusaka said violence affects all sectors and called on politicians to be careful not to incite the people.

“We have recorded some flashes of political violence which are not healthy for a country that is yet to fully recover from the pandemic,” he said.

Lusaka noted that double taxation and a rise in the cost of energy were also eroding investor confidence.

He lauded the move by the national assembly to summon senior government officers to explain the rising cost of fuel.

“Parliament and Senate have addressed the issue of high fuel prices while we are calling on the next house to deal with double taxation imposed by county governments,” he said.

Kepsa CEO Carole Kariuki said they had planned a leader’s summit in the next couple of weeks to address elections preparedness, security, and how businesses can be supported.

“We are calling for peaceful elections as chaos will definitely affect all the sectors including business, hence the need to engage the politicians,” she said.

Kariuki decried the rising cost of production in the country, noting that it was pushing manufacturers out of the market.

“We are deeply perturbed by the rise in electricity and fuel prices in the last couple of months while double taxation remains one of the biggest challenges facing investors,” she said.

The leader of majority in the senate Samuel Pogishio called for sobriety in political campaigns warning that violence could lead to business and capital flight.

“Senate has several pending bills meant to protect investors and we shall place them on the priority list so that we can give the trader a conducive environment to conduct business,” he said.

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