NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – Statehouse Communication directors have sustained their attacks on the opposition over what they term as efforts to paint the country negatively to the international community.
The directors have urged the international community to take note of the CORD coalition’s 2017 electoral strategy, which they say is inclined on taking the country back to anarchy.
While citing the infamous 2007 post election violence, the directors say CORD leader Raila Odinga’s recent claims of elections rigging, one year before the General Election have a potential of disintegrating the country.
They say such claims are just meant to create fear and may also cost the country’s economic growth since investors will be scared away if the political temperatures continue to rise.
“An unfortunate consequence of this toxic political culture is the cyclical buffeting of business and investor confidence arising from unnecessary escalation of political temperatures,” reads a statement from the directors.
They say Odinga’s claims that Eurobond money was embezzled, were meant to scale down business by making investors doubtful of Kenya.
“Businesses scale down and relocate. Investors flee. Prospective investors turn their attention elsewhere. International organisations take precautions relating to evacuation of personnel and additional security measures. From a business risk perspective, Kenya becomes doubtful or even risky. Our economic history displays predictable growth behavior around election years,” it reads.
The opposition leader has also been accused of weakening the constitutional bodies through consistent attacks on their credibility.
“With his characteristic contempt for the youth of Kenya, Odinga is now accusing the National Youth Service of being a militia. Odinga has heaped scorn on the entire judicial system of Kenya, and rubbished the electoral body. Odinga is systematically activating a sequence calculated to bring about chaos and enable him extort his way into power,” they claimed.
The directors have urged Kenyans to remain calm and, “ignore the incitement, disinformation and alarmist figments of a desperate politician who has run out of energy, ideas and credible strategies. We must not take the cue of reckless characters who really don’t care about their country or the welfare of innocent and vulnerable people.”
“Our business community must maintain their confidence in our economy and in our people’s commitment to unity, hard work and Kenya’s prospects. It is important that all stakeholders in our economy exercise prudence and avoid the temptation to confuse hot air with risk.”
They say the, “work of building this nation is the collective mandate of all of us.”
“Like Nehemia of the Old Testament, we must carry on the rebuilding despite the sniggering, jeering and bilious criticism of naysayers. We must separate economic activity from political noise and have confidence that Odinga will not have his way and take Kenya down with him.”
Political leaders from either coalition have since been cautioned against rising political temperatures this early since it was not good for the economy of the country.
ABC Capital Research Analyst Joshua Otiende says premature campaigns may make it hard for the economy to recover after the polls.
Otiende told Capital FM Business the financial sector will be most affected as foreign investors opt to relax from the market in a heightened political field.
“The tone that we will set this year, as we move into the election year is what will determine whether we will recover fast or slow after the 2017 elections. For example, when we had the disputed elections in 2008, it took us a while to adjust because there was no goodwill and trust in how the elections were done, so if we go through this transition smoothly then we shall recover very fast,” he explains.
He says even though the economy is expected to be better in 2016 than 2015, the political environment will make it harder and if not checked on, might stifle growth of the year.