Government adamant opposition boycott on products has no effect on economy

Even though the Kenyan Government is braving the boycott storm, it is evident the country is set to suffer as products by some of the countries top tax paying companies are facing rejection by consumers. In the short term, the effects may be dismal but as analysts in the field of economics put it out, its time to raise the white flag and reunite in economy building.

By Corporate Watch Team

In Summary:

  • Kenya’s largest telecommunication services provider Safaricom is said to have lost close to Sh 20 billion following the boycott that has mainly targeted Safaricom, Bidco and Brookside dairies.
  • According to NASA leaders, the boycott is an act of economic sabotage against corporates they claim are affiliated to the Jubilee administration and those that allegedly participated in the catapulting of president Uhuru Kenyatta to the throne for a second term in the annulled August poll
  • CS Rotich has further assured that the economy is steadily growing and is expected to rebound in 2018 with a projected growth of between 6percent and 7percent
  • CS Rotich accuses opposition of imposing a policy that will bring more harm to the people yet it is not addressing the needs of Kenyans

The Government through the National Treasury insists the economic boycott called by the National Super Alliance will have no impact on the economy even as a section of the economy shows signs of distress. Kenya’s largest telecommunication services provider Safaricom is said to have lost close to Sh 20 billion following the boycott that has mainly targeted Safaricom, Bidco and Brookside dairies.

Cabinet Secretary Treasury Rotich in reaction to NASA’S call on its supporters to shun services and products from Safaricom, milk processor Brookside and house hold consumer goods manufacturer Bidco Kenya, threw cold water on the call saying the boycott is not only backward but insincere.

“It never happens in a progressive country at all to tell somebody, ‘don’t buy this or that,’ its completely ridiculous, I believe it will have no confidence,” he said. The Cabinet secretary while responding to allegations that the economy has suffered since the annulled August 8th presidential election, he said the current economic status is stable.

‘The move by NASA to call on boycott of products that pay taxes to the government thus helping in the running of the economy is backward and has no place in modern Kenya,’ Said CS Henry Rotich.

According to NASA leaders, the boycott is an act of economic sabotage against corporates they claim are affiliated to the Jubilee administration and those that allegedly participated in the catapulting of president Uhuru Kenyatta to the throne for a second term in the annulled August poll. While condemning the NASA leaders, the Cabinet secretary said it is not right for NASA leaders to claim to have the country at heart yet they plan on bringing it down on its knees through an economic sabotage.

“You cannot impose a policy that will bring more harm to your people yet you are not addressing the needs of Kenyans,” the CS added.

Looking to the future…

CS Rotich has further assured that the economy is steadily growing and is expected to rebound in 2018 with a projected growth of between 6percent and 7percent owing to anticipated favourable agricultural output, following the short rains currently being experienced across the country as Agriculture contributes more than 25 percent of Kenya’s GDP.

Echoing the Cabinet secretary’s sentiments, the Communication Authority of Kenya through its Director General Francis Wangusi has also asked Kenyans to restrain from vilifying businesses. The DG was speaking in defense of Telecommunications services provider Safaricom.

The Communications Authority called on opposition leaders to suspend the boycott calls. Mr. Wangusi urged politicians to avoid making utterances that may dampen the investment climate in the country, hurt jobs in the telecommunications sector and ultimately compromise the lives of ordinary citizens.

The ICT sector, in which Safaricom is one of the leading players, contributed 61 percent to the growth of the country’s Grown Domestic Product

Meanwhile, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) full-week performance in mid November 2017 was dragged lower by foreign investors exiting  Safaricom and banking shares. The main NSE-20 share Index fell 1.3 per cent to close the week at 3,752.15 points.

Data from the bourse showed foreign investors were net sellers for the second week running as their participation at the bourse dropped to 56.6 per cent from 61.5 per cent the previous week.

Safaricom was recorded as the main casualty of the foreign exits, which sliced its share price by 3.9 per cent to hit a three-week low of Sh24.50 a share. The counter was, however, still 27.9 percent higher this year, double the average NSE performance.

Safaricom dealers however said a call by the main opposition party Nasa to its supporters on November 3 to boycott Safaricom services had not influenced the downturn in the share price.

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