The Star (Nairobi)

22 August 2014

Kenya: Referendum Jitters Slowing Down Business At the Port - Mungatana

The referendum jitters are affecting business at the Mombasa port, according to Kenya Ports Authority chairman Danson Mungatana.

He said the port is now recording less business than it was before the clamour for a referendum by Cord and governors began.

Mungatana said Kenya's business environment always changes negatively whenever the country enters an electioneering period.

"We at the port, for example, have been doing very well, but when the referendum jitters started, you find people are bringing less goods to this country," he said.

Mungatana was addressing architects, land surveyors, town planners, among other land professionals when he officially opened the Architectural Association of Kenya annual convention at the Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa yesterday.

Mungatana said Kenya is used to having an electioneering period after every five years and not two years.

"I have no problem with having 10 or 20 referenda....But I have a problem with us having an election within the five-year election cycle," he said.

"The crème de la crème of this country leave the nation until after the electioneering period is over. These are the people who spend Sh20,000-Sh50,000 in a shopping spree. We lose this money to other countries."

The KPA chairman said Kenya cannot afford to have an election every two-and-a-half years as this slows down the country's economic progress.

He asked professional organisations, including the AAK, to raise their concerns on national issues.

"You also need to stand and be heard. This is your country. You can't afford to keep quiet," Mungatana said.

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