18 June 2014

Kenya: Federation of Kenya Employers Demands Decisive Action On Insecurity

Nairobi — The Federation of Kenya Employers is urging the government to respond to the increasing incidents of insecurity with firm action which in return will reassure the country that the government has the ability to intercept and avert recurrent attacks.

FKE chairman Linus Gitahi urged the government to take serious steps to improve security across the country and especially in the coastal region that has suffered from persistent terror attacks.

Gitahi says the economy is bound to suffer if the current state persists and the increased insecurity will highly affecting the tourism sector which is the country's main income earner.

"The insecurity is affecting other businesses that have to even invest a lot more in terms of security and when that happens the cost of doing business goes up then they reduce the number of people they employ... they end up putting more people out. More people out there in the streets is recipe for more insecurity. We must as Kenyans gather together and ensure that this does not happen," he said.

"We need firm, informed and decisive action from the government. It is not in the best interest of the government for information to reach the public that several warnings on terror attacks have been shared with the security agencies without concrete action and proactive response from them."

"Kenyans expect the government to carry out thorough investigations to expose and firmly deal with the root cause of insecurity be they political incitement or otherwise. Until investigations are done we must avoid alarmist and speculative statements that will further heighten tension."

FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo says businesses in Lamu are counting losses running into billions of shillings.

She says that many hotels in the coastal area have scaled down operations or closed businesses altogether because of the tension and uncertainty that exists.

"The impact on the tourism and on employment and in the mood in which business is done has impacted all our members. We have many members in that area, as at now people are not even on the ground they are not even reporting to work so we have not got the structures yet to be able to get information to say member xyz has been affected. The climate of business in that area is affecting all the employers as well as our members," she said.

"This trend is also now extending to businesses outside the hotel industry with the overall cost of doing business going up as firms undertake additional expenditure to ensure the security of their enterprises. The government should ensure its responses to the increasing cases of insecurity and respect the right of life and property; the irreplaceable role of any government is to provide security."

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