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Businesses struggle to move on from Kenya election

Friday, November 03, 2017 - 01:47

Kenya's election crisis is in danger of blunting growth in east Africa's trade and diplomatic hub, according to local business owners and analysts. Ciara Lee reports.

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It's east Africa's key trade hub and the country of choice for multinationals to do business. But a re-run of a disputed election has left Kenya battered and bruised Days of often violent protests have left businesses struggling to get back on their feet. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESTAURANT OWNER, JANE FAITH, SAYING: "Food prices have gone high; all commodities have gone up, so it is affecting us... those people who are in the business sector." (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAIROBI RESIDENT, KEN MWAURA, SAYING: "It's quite sad and we are looking up to our leaders and asking them, can they have dialogue? Can they come down and listen to Kenyans on the ground and try to get what challenges they are facing right now? Private sector activity in Kenya dropped to a record low in October. And output has contracted for six straight months The economy grew at 5 percent in the first half of the year, falling short of forecasts. A severe drought in the first quarter not helping matters. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ECONOMIC ANALYST, ALY-KHAN SATCHU, SAYING: "We have a credit crunch. Our biggest supermarket is on the floor. You can't get credit if you are an SME, the economy has slowed down. It is what I would call at a cliff edge." The Supreme Court nullified the country's August election which saw President Kenyatta win. He also won the re-run in October. But opposition leader Raila Odinga boycotted that poll, which was marred by violent protests. And the matter is far from resolved. As part of Odinga's call for a "National Resistance Movement" ... The opposition has asked supporters to boycott three big companies it says benefit from ties to the government, including telecoms giant Safaricom. Odinga has until Monday to file a Supreme Court case seeking to overturn the election.

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Businesses struggle to move on from Kenya election

Friday, November 03, 2017 - 01:47