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KNCCI Calls for Calmness and Peace for Business Continuity

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has extended  its deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives during the recent protests.

KNCCI  also wish a swift and full recovery to all those who have been injured.

Addressing th media on Wednesday 3rd July 2024 from their Headquarters in Nairobi, the Chambers President Erick Rutto says KNCCI firmly believes in the right to protest, as enshrined in the constitution, and supports its exercise under all circumstances.

‘However, we are deeply concerned about the instances of violence that have occurred during these protests, leading to looting of businesses and destruction of property which have severely disrupted business continuity across various parts of our country. These disruptions have led to significant interruptions in the supply chain, increased operational costs, decreased consumer and investor confidence, and loss of livelihoods.’ Rutto outlined.

He added that the cumulative effect of these issues is a substantial strain on Kenya’s already fragile economy.

Further, Rutto said, that as the organization responsible for issuing the ordinary certificate of origin, certifying that a product is from Kenya, KNCCI has observed a worrying 17% decline in export activity since the protests began. Furthermore, he said, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has lost KES 63 billion in investor wealth over the past two weeks, reflecting declining investor confidence in Kenya’s
economy due to the violent elements within the protests.

‘The government has an obligation to protect the lives and property of all Kenyans as enshrined in the Bill or Human rights and Article 40 of the constitution respectively. While citizens have the right to protest, it has become evident that some individuals are engaging in violence, looting, and the destruction of property. Such actions are unacceptable and must be addressed promptly to ensure the safety and security of all.’ He explained.

KNCCI calls on the government to expedite engagements to address the concerns raised by the
protestors, enabling the economy to return to normalcy.

He pointed out that Kenya is currently in the peak season for tourism, which was the fastest-growing sector in 2023 at 33.6%. However, he warned, the violent elements within the protests threaten to massively impact this sector and the millions of livelihoods that depend on it.

‘In light of these challenges, KNCCI calls for calm and encourages open, constructive dialogue and collaboration among all citizens of this great nation. It is imperative that we address the concerns
raised and work towards solutions that benefit all Kenyans. Ultimately, preserving the integrity of the
cause and protecting the well-being of our country, its people, and its businesses should be our
collective priority.’ Rutto advised.

As always, he concluded, KNCCI is willing to support collaborative actions by sharing concerns of the private sector through an economic recovery strategy.

‘We have various channels at our disposal such as the Youth in Business platform in our 47 County Chapters. KNCCI remains committed to supporting all engagements aimed at swiftly and amicably resolving the issues arising from the protests. We believe that through cooperation and mutual understanding, we can foster a peaceful and prosperous environment for all Kenyans.’ Rutto said.

By Mourice Seretta

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