Since the nullification of the Kenyan presidential results following the supreme court ruling, there have been both condemnation and praise of the judicial system in Kenya. On the 1St of September when Chief Justice David Maraga announced the nullification of the presidential results, majority of the people who were celebrating were not only celebrating the win but the sovereignty and the upholding of democracy for future elections making Kenya the first African country and the fourth country in the world to annul presidential results of an incumbent. This ruling has made Kenya stand out as being one of the most Democratic countries in Africa as it were evident on social media how citizens from other African countries admired the supreme court’s ruling and wished their countries could emulate the same. Unfortunately, this ruling sent mixed reactions to international investors and tourists. This stemmed from the uncertainty of whether there was going to be violence or not.
On the day the presidential results were nullified, there was a great drop of shares in Kenyan foreign exchange market. Shares had fallen by the 10 percent limit, which requires a halt. In just 10 minutes, Kenya lost 50billion. The shilling weakened 0.4 percent immediately following the court’s ruling to 103.20/40. This is due to the fact that investors did not pump in money and at some point, the economy was at a standstill. For instance, the KPLC share price dropped by 9.73% alongside many major banks and companies like Equity, Safaricom, CIC and many others. A total 17 stocks that make the 20 share index declined, resulting in the huge drop.
The elections which were held on the 8th of this month used a total of ksh30 billion, which created a strain to the Kenyan tax payers. The presidential rerun which has set to be on the 17th of October will probably need less than that but the question is if the IEBC is prepared already or the taxpayer has to chip in again because the economy of the country will be affected in one way or another. It’s evident that the nation has clearly overstretched its budget, since the nurses’ strike is still on due to failure of the government to pay them their agreed salary. The lecturers and teachers are threatening to go on strike and if they do so, how is the government prepared to sort that out without affecting the running of the economy. The big question is how can the government manage all these different sectors and activities without the strain on the economy witnessed the other day.
Our judicial system has got a lot of praises from the international community and has made many Kenyans proud. However, the international investors who were set to invest in our country have actually said that they are taking a back seat until the rerun is done with. Remember Kenya is set to host the 2018 CHAN tournament but the chances of us holding the tournament have become bleak. This is due to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Sunday abruptly cancelling an inspection which was crucial to ensure the country is set to hold the tournament. They were expected to come on the 7th of this month but the vice president of the federation Mr. Omari said that they have cancelled the inspection due to the political situation in the country after the supreme court ruling.
The tourism sector has also been affected by the recent political activities in the country due to some travel advisories issued by the USA and UK. The foreign Commonwealth office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to areas within 60km of the Kenya Somali border. The best part about the FCO advisory is that it doesn’t include Kenya’s safari destinations, the national Parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies. So, we are hoping that this will not have such a huge negative impact on the economy as far as tourism is concerned.
The supreme court ruling actually eased the tension in the country compared to when the election results were announced by the national returning officer. We hope that the investors would revisit their stand and continue to invest even as we wait for the fresh presidential elections to be carried out. I believe the ruling was meant to make our country better and not to make the foreign community afraid in any way. Kenya is among the fastest growing economies and everything should be done to ensure that its economy continues to grow on a positive trajectory.