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Uhuru-Raila pact offers brighter future for investors

Milliam Murigi @millymur1

I nvestors in business and industry sectors are recording gains months after the end of the long electioneering period.

They received another boost three weeks ago when President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga signed a unity pact that saw the two leaders put aside their differences for the sake of peace of the country. In the name of the handshake, the shilling has stabilised, gaining against the US dollar to trade below Sh101.

The stock market has also started recovering. In Kiambu county, investors, mostly those in real estate sector, have a reason to smile again after their businesses bounced back, with most of them reporting impressive performance in the last two months.

Some of the real estate companies that spoke to us exclusively, said they have already felt the positive impact of a nation with political tolerance and a good political environment.

John Mwanu, Wezesha Global Solutions CEO, said most of their suppliers, partners and clients, some of them foreigners, had held back their investments due to fear of the unknown, leading to low sales and businesses closing down. “Politicians’ utterances brought a lot of tension across the country.

We had to withold investments and stop those that were ongoing,” he said. After President Kenyatta was sworn in, sales increased rapidly, and then some more after the two leaders resolved to work together on March 9.

He has expressed hope for a more business-friendly country, economic growth, more investments and generally an industrious workforce. But while Kenyans get excited about investing, Ibrahim Kwendo, one of Wezesha’s company directors said that there is need to educate Kenyans on better ways of pursuing investments, owing to ‘fake’ investments that have cropped up in the recent past.

Kwendo said Kenyans should take caution and scrutinise every investment that comes along before they venture into them, lest they lose their money. “It is necessary to make sure that Kenyans are well versed about investing because there has emerged rogue real estate companies in recent years.

As we have seen, many Kenyans have fallen prey to the scammers in one way or the other,” he said. He stated that the government’s development agenda mostly in the housing sector should involve and engage stakeholders in the real estate industry to make sure they deliver their promises faster.

Lynn Muriuki, a real estate agent in Thika town, called upon youth in the country to grab available opportunities and secure their future by investing in land and property. Muriuki, 21, has beaten all odds by indulging into real estate at a tender age.

“The dalliance between the two leaders should be seen by youth as an assurance that they can go about their activities without fear of job loss, salary cut or stagnation of pay,” she said.

On her part, she sees the pact as a green light for the youth to strife own land, which they can afford and can pay in instalments. She added that the government has tried to provide opportunities for the youth through Youth Fund and other kitties set aside by the government.

She, however, decried many corruption cases and thus, youth are not benefiting as intended. The businessmen want county governments to partner and support them since they pay huge levies, helping in developing and settling residents of their counties.

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