The Secret in Helping Kenyan SMEs is Not in Xenophobia

By Juma / June 28, 2019



millennials

During the week, a member for parliament for Starehe Constituency Charles Kanyi Njagua blamed Tanzanians and Ugandans for taking over Kenyan businesses and rendering Kenyans jobless.

Mr. Kanyi went ahead to give them 24 hours to pack and leave, failure to which he would mobilize youth to clobber them up. This is on record.

Whatever Mr. Kanyi said might have been politically correct but economically dangerous. He might have said what many wanted to hear but the consequences run much deeper.

There are thousands of Kenyans living and working in both Kenya and Tanzania. The hard economic conditions in the country have pushed the away to look for greener pastures in our neighboring countries.

The reckless remarks made by the MP threatens the very existence of Kenyans in this countries. In fact, one MP in Tanzania said, it should be tit for tat, we clobber Tanzanians in Kenya, they clobber Kenyans in Tanzania.

Such remarks as what Njagua made are what led to the infamous Xenophobic attacks in South Africa where hundreds of foreigners were attacked and killed. They should not be taken lightly.

Having said that, the problems facing our SMEs cannot be solved through roadside declarations and xenophobic utterances.

Stats from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show that at least 400,000 SME die annually in Kenya. This means, on any given month, at least 30,000 SMEs are closing shop in Kenya and 1,000 daily.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in his own wisdom or absence of the same said, the failure or the success of a business does not depend on that government in power. He was wrong and he knows he was wrong. He is an economist and he knows how a government affects businesses.

The government should be blamed for suffocating SMEs. The SMEs in this country pay numerous taxes like no other. The government is always looking for an avenue to tax them without considering the challenges they go through.

SMEs have to access to credit because the banks are scared of them. They are considered risky borrowers and they have been left to wobble on their own.

Most of foreigners doing business in this country have valid documents from the government. If the government feels they are a threat to the economy, they why issue permits to them?



About Juma

Juma is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it.(020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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