, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – Brand Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mary Kimonye has stressed the need for leaders to stop public disagreements following the Lamu killings since it will scare away investors and harm the economy.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Kimonye said they should instead engage in constructive dialogue and come up with a solution to the current security situation.
“Yes we have negative headlines but we have people who are able to look beyond them and study a country in detail. Last night I was at a function and we were welcoming a new Indian company that is coming to Kenya. If the aggression was not there, we would be moving at a very high pace towards the achievement of our Vision 2030,” she indicated.
She stated that Kenya’s image is still strong as investors are still coming in and though hotel bookings have dropped in affected areas of the coast, establishments were operating at full capacity in other parts of the country.
“There is a bit of exaggeration because of the way leaders are speaking in the media. This attack (in Mpeketoni) is in one location but there is a way people are speaking as if the entire country is on fire. Things are going on. I was in Meru and the farmers are still picking their coffee and their industry is still going on. I was in Naivasha and the hotels are fully booked,” she said.
She further emphasised the need for leaders to rally Kenyans together as their involvement can go a long way in reducing incidences of insecurity across the country.
“Tourists may have relocated from the coast but they are still coming. I think the first thing we need to do is to be very concise and accurate in the way we discuss this matter,” she admonished politicians for their public rhetoric.
“For politicians, these are people who have access to the President on a daily basis. Let them not start shouting at him from the media. Why don’t they book appointments with him and say, let us come and reason together,” she wondered.
“I have listened to many politicians who in my view can talk directly to the President or his deputy one-on-one and they are taking it to the media. They are being populists and they need to stop. People are taking advantage of this situation to now further their political agenda to become prominent. They need to take responsibility for their country.
She pointed out that the leaders were elected so that they can reason together and not exchange words.
“The other thing we can do as citizens, is to start improving Kenya from where we are and support our government and walk with it in terms of the initiatives that are being put in place to improve peace. It is not time to now sneer at Nyumba Kumi initiative but to embrace it so that we can move together as a nation,” she said.
She however underscored the need for all Kenyans to take the initiative and take security matters seriously.
“Every single Kenya is responsible. In the attacks in Mpeketoni, there are people who had information and this should serve as a lesson for all of us to be involved in all aspects of security that involves our country,” she said.