ICPAK projects job cuts amid political uncertainty

Kenya opposition supporters demonstrate in the capital, Nairobi, demanding poll reform.
Kenya opposition supporters demonstrate in the capital, Nairobi, demanding poll reform. PHOTO: SAMUEL RAMTU

Fresh job cuts in the private sector looms as continued heightened political activities continue to disrupt business operations.

According to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (ICPAK), businesses have been struggling throughout 2017 as political activity continued to cause uncertainty.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop in Mombasa, ICPAK vice chairperson Rose Mwaura said the realignment has had a negative effect for private sector companies as they continue postponing business decisions as they adopt a wait and see approach before making business decisions.

“Private sector entities are grappling with lost business opportunities and workers are staring at job cuts in the coming months. If the current stalemate continues we should not be surprised to see some projected job losses as employers cut back to safeguard the profitability of their companies,” Ms Mwaura said.

The decision to hold fresh polls was one that the business community had not anticipated with the high stakes in the presidential race causing further uncertainty.

This week has seen yet another spanner thrown into the works with the withdrawal of NASA presidential candidate from the October 26 race while calling for nationwide protests in the quest for reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The impasse has had a negative effect on the economy with businesses likely to cut operating costs.

Ms Mwaura said revenue collection by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is also likely to be greatly affected by the move.

“The prolonged political activity in 2017 has actually seen GDP growth slowdown to five percent and below,” she said.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data shows the economy slowed to five percent in the second quarter while first quarter growth stood at 4.7 percent.

Already the National Treasury is grappling with a Sh29 billion shortfall in the revenue targets for the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year.

This has seen the government embark on radical austerity measures such as blocking non essential travel, slashing of ministry budgets as well a freeze on purchase of new vehicles.

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