With the swearing in of governors and all the other elected officials of government as well as the imminent inauguration of the incoming president, it is time for the new government to roll up its sleeves and get down to the real work.
The time for campaigning is over and we have also gone through the court process for those who felt aggrieved in the election and I want to laud all Kenyans for displaying maturity throughout the whole process. The constitution that Kenya promulgated in 2010 has come in handy in resolving issues to do with election results and keep the economy operational.
The new government will need to start expediting resolution of issues that will promote an enabling business environment for us to achieve our Vision 2030 goals as well as boost the economy of this country.
As a reminder all those elected into power have a social contract with the voters and business sector which include that they will deliver on; energy supply and prices that will not increase the cost of doing business, to sort out the ailing health sector which needs urgent attention, to fix the port of Mombasa to improve efficiency, to work on the education system so that the universities may churn out graduates who are capable of delivering good results at the workplace, make it less taxing to pay taxes, improve on the wage policy and move away from ceremonial wage increments and let firms have the autonomy to peg wages on productivity, mobilise resources for industrial investment, support innovation and technology development.
It is crucial for the government to be cognizant of business interests right from the onset in order to be on the right track for economic prosperity. The private sector has indicated in various forums its willingness to partner with government in meeting the challenges that the sector faces with the aim of finding lasting solutions to the challenges.
With the memory of 2007/8 fears abounded in Kenya before the March 4 elections about repeat violence. All breathed a collective sigh of relief when we affirmed that we are capable of holding peaceful elections as evidenced by the mood in the whole country days after we cast the ballot to elect the next leadership for our government.
And in the event of disaffection with the results, Kenyans have learnt and more importantly have new institutions as a result of the 2010 constitution we can rely on the sort out grievances in a just manner.
Kenya has demonstrated to the entire world that we have come a long way as a democratic country with a Constitution that is a blue-print for other multi-party democracies in other parts of the world.
Now that all is done and dusted, it is important to keep working. The economy needs to keep going and people need to focus on the medium and long term once again.
Kenya’s resilient entrepreneurs, small and large have proved their prowess in driving and growing the economy even as we prepare to welcome a new President.
Elections have come and gone as they will always do every five years. In any election there is bound to be a winner and a loser so regardless of the outcome there is need to accept the final leaders and realize that the new government will not be serving a particular party but all the people of Kenya.
Businesses have invested in the country for the long term and we all need to guard against giving in to fear that could spur any disinvestment because of individuals who do not want to follow the processes enshrined in the constitution. The Kenyan economy is resilient and is expected to continue growing steadily. It is our duty to keep it going and work with whichever party forms the next government. It is therefore important to show leadership, have no fear and continue operating as normal.
The time for lip service is over and it is time to deliver results! Going forward, the nation is in every person’s hands and we have the choice to decide on whether we want it to progress or retrogress.
(The writer is the Chief Executive of Kenya Association of Manufacturers and can be reached on [email protected])