MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug 14 – Clearing and forwarding agents have called on Kenyans to rise above the elections fever and return to work, saying the extended tension following the announcement of the presidential results has negatively impacted the economy.
William Ojonyo, chairman of the agents’ umbrella body – Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA), says the week-long limbo has led to huge losses in their sector because of non-movement of cargo from the port.
“Like we said before the elections, as agents we hoped to and were indeed ready to resume work last Wednesday but what has happened after voting day has left us counting losses, ” he says.
“Goods and cargo are attracting additional costs in the name of extra storage because of the slow movement of cargo.”
Ojonyo further explains how reduced activity at the port affects revenue collection by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
“As customs agents, part of our job is to collect taxes on behalf of KRA so if we are not working or trade in our sector is hampered then KRA is not going to meet its targets and the impact on the economy is huge.”
He now wants the opposition to follow the constitutionally laid down procedures and seek redress in the courts instead of the streets.
“I had the opportunity to follow the process and I largely agree that the process was credible. So if indeed there are issues, then let them address them at the Supreme Court because that is what the law provides.
“It is unfortunate that the country can be held at a ransom because of elections. And it’s sad when we are now getting to lose lives of innocent citizens.”