Kenya’s investor lobby renews call for peaceful elections

NAIROBI, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s umbrella body representing local investors in Kenya on Wednesday renewed call for peaceful and transparent general elections on Aug. 8 in order to safeguard economic and social progress the country has made in recent past.

The lobby through Mkenya Daima (forever Kenya) initiative said that investors will rally behind efforts to promote free and fair elections in a bid to boost social cohesion and economic growth.

“We reiterate our full support for agencies tasked with conducting the upcoming elections to ensure the exercise is above board. We are confident that the electoral agency has put in place strong measures to ensure the voting exercise is credible,” the investors said in a joint statement issued in Nairobi.

Kenya’s business leaders have since 2013 actively championed for peaceful campaigns and transparent elections under a flagship project called Mkenya Daima, loosely translated into forever Kenyan.

The investors have since 2015 held sessions with lawmakers, policymakers and ward representatives to explore ways to strengthen national cohesion ahead of this year’s national polls.

While acknowledging that the upcoming elections will be hotly contested, the investors urged aspirants and their supporters to restrain from inflammatory statements that may balkanize the country.

“We urge Kenyans to turn out in large numbers and vote peacefully. They should however avoid making divisive comments on social media and promote cohesion. Elections should not be a reason for the disruption of businesses and provision of key services,” said the business leaders

They expressed optimism that Kenyan economy will remain resilient despite election jitters that have slowed down business activities.

Kenyan investors will rally behind programs aimed at uniting the country in this election cycle to avoid a repeat of the 2007-08 post-poll chaos that negatively impacted on the country’s economic growth.

The Chairman of Mkenya Daima, Dr Vimal Shah said the business community will actively engage with key stakeholders in the electoral process to ensure peace and stability.