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KEPSA Director Vimal Shah/FILE

Kenya

KEPSA says ‘no’ to Saba Saba rallies

KEPSA chairman Vimal Shah said the planned rallies may not only disrupt peace but cause many Kenyans to shy away from attending their daily economic activities/FILE

KEPSA chairman Vimal Shah said the planned rallies may not only disrupt peace but cause many Kenyans to shy away from attending their daily economic activities/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 3 – The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is now calling for cancellation of the planned Saba Saba rallies on Monday arguing they may bring disruption that could hurt the economy.

KEPSA chairman Vimal Shah said the planned rallies may not only disrupt peace but cause many Kenyans to shy away from attending their daily economic activities.

He says through past experiences, such rallies have brought unnecessary tension and anxiety that end up pushing away investors and destroying the country’s image.

“We are convinced that the public rallies dubbed ‘Saba Saba’ are likely to create more tensions, anxiety among investors and Kenyans in general, and if not well managed may degenerate into violence and looting,” Shah said while issuing a joint statement with the United Nations Systems in Kenya.

He called on all politicians to follow the right channels in expressing their views than hold political rallies which continue to hurt our economy.

“Countries like Ethiopia are having double digits growth, countries like Rwanda are having around 7 percent, and for us Kenya we cannot be satisfied where we are. So peace is a prerequisite, not for a group of people, but for all Kenyans,” United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Representative in Kenya Nardos Bekele-Thomas urged.

CORD has planned to hold the rally on Monday after the government failed to hold talks with them on national issues affecting the country. A group of rival politicians have planned a parallel rally under the Mavuno Youth Forum and are squabbling over the use of Uhuru Park for the rally.

The private sector says continued push for conditional national dialogue may not bear any fruits but create more agitation.

“There should not be disruptions of peace. And when we say peace we mean people should go on with their normal lives and not be interfered with because of rallies,’ Shah said.

The private sector however says of the rallies go on, the leaders should be held accountable if anything negative occurs.

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“If they go ahead with the rally, and anything gets destroyed, we will hold them accountable,” KEPSA Director Polycarp Igathe warned adding it was high time the politicians take responsibility of their actions.

Meanwhile, businessman Chris Kirubi on called on the media to focus more on the positive things happening in the country and not dwell on the negatives.

He says the media plays a great role in determining the political mood of the country and the stability as a whole.

“Can you decide if you are going to be one of those ambassadors of peace or you going to just report anything and you don’t care the impact,” Kirubi challenged the media.

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