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Electioneering has cost Kenya's economy Sh700bn - Kepsa

Kepsa trustee Patrick Obath (centre), Kepsa Foundation chairman Lee Karuri (left ) and adviser Mike Eldon during a press briefing on October 24, 2017. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

The last four months of the electioneering period has cost private businesses up to Sh700 billion in lost opportunities.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) on Tuesday said the situation risks getting out of hand, further hurting the economy.

This is especially so given that private businesses employ about1.8 million Kenyans which is about 71 per cent of formal employment, Kepsa said.

“The harsh political climate has serious implications as medium, small and micro-enterprises employees about 85 per cent of Kenya’s labour force", Kepsa’s trustee Patrick Obath said.

"The education sector has also had its calendar disrupted and national examinations could suffer if the current political situation is not managed properly,” he said.

READ: 47pc of factories to shed jobs over election jitters

Bleak future

Kepsa said the future looks bleak despite a good performance in 2015 when 90,200 jobs were created followed by 57,600 jobs in 2016.

The private sector group said the matatu sector was losing Sh75 million daily from disrupted services in counties affected by political demonstrations -- Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Mombasa and Nairobi.

Kepsa’s statement also identified wholesale and retail sectors as some of the hardest hit businesses noting that street demos forced them to shut premises for fear of looting and destruction of property.

READ: Political impasse choking the economy

In addition, Kepsa said landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and DRC Congo that rely on Kenya as their preferred transit point had diverted their goods to Tanzania.

This, Kepsa said, had hurt the long-distance truck and rail transport businesses as well as warehousing services.




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