The election season has come and gone with it there have been some winners and losers. Overall, I would say that the Kenyan people have won in that despite the fact that some of those whom they were supporting didn’t win. Sadly, there were a few Kenyans who lost their lives while practicing their democratic right to protest. Other than that, it was largely peaceful period bearing in mind the tension that was there before we cast our votes.
As the election season heated up, businesses across the country started to slow down their operations while adopting a wait and see attitude. The thing is businesses suffered heavy losses during the post-election violence in 2007/08 and as such this time around they were not taking chances. This meant that businesses were taking in fewer supplies and paying even few suppliers which had an effect of slowing down the circulation of money in our economy. Other companies delayed projects pending the outcome of the elections. The public transport industry also bore the brunt of the electioneering period due to the fact that people chose to stay at home as the votes were tallied. All in all, the election season usually does not bode well for our economy and our pockets in general.
On my part being a businessman, jobs became fewer with most clients pushing projects till after the election. Debtors also started using the “ wacha tungoje elections zipite” line and you can imagine it was not funny as I still had bills to pay and mouths to feed. Now that the elections are over and things have started going back to normal, I have plans of camping in people’s offices.
Therefore I feel as Kenyans we should get back to our daily routines as soon as possible so that we can reinvigorate our economy. Why should this matter, you might ask? The simple fact is that any monetary transaction that you make enables a Kenyan somewhere to feed their family and dependents. For example, the money that you pay as bus fare while using public transport goes to feed the families and dependants of the conductor, driver and the matatu owner. If you chose to remain at home these three individuals and their families would go to bed hungry.
Already some businesses are starting to feel positive the effects of the peaceful elections. The Nairobi Security Exchange’s stock market index hit a 22 month high of 4,077 points on Tuesday last week. The last time it was this high was in October 5, 2015. Insurers who had insured businesses against post-election violence are also laughing all the way to the bank as they have paid little or no compensation at all due to the fact that there was minimal damage to property. The hotel industry on its part expects that tourist arrivals will cross the 1.5 million mark in the second half of the year and with it increased revenue.
Clearly the wheels of the economy are starting to roll again, so go out and make your mullah as no politician will ever help you clear you bills. That being said, i long for a time when elections in Kenya will just be a one-day affair whereby Kenyans will go out to vote and thereafter carry on with their lives.