FKE wary of political activity impact on jobs

FKE wary of political activity impact on jobs

The standoff on fresh presidential elections continues to wreck havoc on the private sector with more jobs now at risk.

The Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) has lamented the heightened political activity as continues to cause business uncertainty across the country.

According to the employers lobby group, a number of businesses had shut down operations with other sending home employees to cut costs amid slow revenue generation.

Speaking during a briefing on Monday, FKE chief executive officer Jacqueline Mugo said the heavy losses experienced by business now posed a serious risk to jobs going forward.

“We continue receiving reports from various companies and members who are distressed and are having to make decisions on jobs,” Ms Mugo said.

The Federation further warned that more investors would adopt a wait and see approach, a move that could cause anxiety at the stock market as was witnessed during the August polls.

There has been political uncertainty over the October 26 poll with National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga vowing there will be no election unless massive reforms are undertaken by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

On the other end President Uhuru Kenyatta has continued to push for the repeat election leading to a massive standoff between the two camps.

“The big question that we pose is whether the politicians are able to see the horrible impact that their utterance and actions are having on the nation, the impact it’s having on job, on businesses and all the people caught in the middle between the two sides,” she stressed.

According to FKE, the agricultural, hospitality, manufacturing and financial services sectors are among the hardest hit by the political uncertainty.

“If you take the major cities Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, we are seeing depressed occupancy of around thirty percent and below. At this time, we had focused some growth already been the business tourism but if all was normal, we usually see a peak of around sixty percent,” FKE board member Mike Macharia said.

The federation has called for dialogue and toning down of political rhetoric to boost economic activity.

“Our appeal to the presidential candidates’ is that they sit down and reason together to find a solution because this country is bigger than any of us,” Ms Mugo said.

Additional reporting by Sophie Kinoti