Kenya's private sector concerned over insecurity

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

Kenya has continued facing insecurity crippling its economy, and on Tuesday morning five people were killed in a new attack on the Kenyan coast. The attack, which was in Witu within the Lamu County, is about 38 kilometres from Mpeketoni town were at least 60 people died after gunmen attacked the residents last week. 

(READ MORE: Another attack on Kenyan coast)

“The security situation is one that is of grave concern to everybody, particularly the business community. Capital is a coward. Nobody will invest their money where they are not feeling secure. It is the responsibility of any government to provide security for its people,” Kiprono Kittony, chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, told CNBC Africa.

Most businesses are yet to resume their service in areas that have experienced the attacks, including banks such as the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

“KCB has announced the temporary closure of one of its branches located in Mpeketoni. The branch will remain closed until further notice,” the bank said in a statement.

The government however has prioritised on tackling insecurity, and during the 2014 to 2015 budgetary address, dedicated 179.1 billion Kenyan shillings towards security.

(READ MORE: Budget increased as Al-Shabaab declares ‘war zone’ in Kenya)

In addition, the National Treasury proposed to allocate 66.2 billion Kenyan shillings for policing services, 71.3 billion Kenyan shillings for the Kenya Defense Forces and 17.4 billion Kenyan shillings for the National Security Intelligence.

“We looked at the budget and we have seen that the government has committed a lot of money into the security sector. From the investment perspective, they are doing a lot but it appears within the security apparatus itself there must be some lapses that are causing the frequent attacks that are catching the country flatfooted,” Kittony said, adding that the only way to tackle the issue of insecurity was for Kenyan leaders to address the critical issues that are affecting the country.

“This is the time for the country to pull together, for political class to reduce its rhetoric, for all citizens to support the government in its measures to reduce insecurity. A divided front will be a holiday for our enemies,” Kittony explained.