Why can’t politicians look at the bigger picture and let Kenya attain its projected 6.02% economic growth this year? That’s the question bothering Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) chairperson Kiprono Kittony who is less than impressed by leaders keeping the country in a constant mood of politicking.
Political rhetoric hit the high notes during the past week with succession and development politics dominating the landscape as politicians setting the stage for potential re-alignments dominated the national discourse with rare sound bytes.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Tuesday, Kittony asked the country’s political class to shelve the early campaigns and wants them to instead channel their efforts towards growing the economy.
“KNCCI wishes to urge politicians to desist from early campaigns. It is too early for succession politics to dominate the national agenda. Let us use 2019 and 2020 to rebuild our economy and unite our country through various initiatives such as the handshake,” reads the statement.
The chairperson of the Radio Africa Group opines that businesses should be allowed time to recover after a turbulent 2017 when investors adopted a wait and see approach as the country went into two bitterly disputed presidential elections as well as a disappointing 2018 during which the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) bear run continued as more and more companies issued profit warnings.
“KNCCI is cognisant of the fact that economic growth and political stability are dependent on each other. Unstable political environment may reduce investment and the pace of economic development while poor economic development may lead to government collapse and p**************t,” further read the statement.
Mr Kittony while heavily referencing his argument on the World Bank’s projection that Kenya’s economy will grow by 0.6 percentage points to hit 6.02% in 2019 from 5.475% in 2018, urged the government to reconsider the law capping interest rates in order to open the credit taps to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked politicians to cast aside the premature campaigns on several occasions since he was re-elected for a second term in office.