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 Your Businesses are secure ahead of the General Elections: Commissioner Iteere assures private sector businesses!!

 

November 12, 2012, NAIROBI: Private sector business leaders under the umbrella of KEPSA together with the Diplomatic Community led by the Danish Embassy met with officials from the different Government arms of internal security spearheaded by Ag. PS Ministry of Internal Security and Provincial Administration at the Stanley hotel this morning. The aim of the meeting was to find ways in which these parties can engage to ensure that businesses and the country is free of violence ahead of the March 2013 General Elections. This comes after the 2007 political violence that paralyzed the country to a near standstill and recent cases of insecurity in parts of the country that has cost the country of business people, property, the public and police officers on duty.

 

The private sector led by KEPSAs security sector chair Sam Matano highlighted key areas and recommendations on security from the private sector businesses:

1.      Sources of insecurity:

§  Political violence due to ethnically-based political parties;

§  Organized crime due to income disparity and high unemployment;

§  Terrorism spurred by Al-Shabaab;

§  Resource-based conflicts owing to a general decline in key resources (land, water and pasture), rising population, increased economic activities and natural factors.

 2.      Impact of insecurity on businesses:

  • Direct costs of crime to businesses such as loss of assets, damage to property and personal injury;
  • Indirect burden on firms in Sub-Saharan Africa, that spend up to 10 % of total sales revenues on crime and security-related costs;
  • In Kenya, businesses spend an average of 4 % of sales to insure themselves against crime - during the post-election violence, costs were evidently much higher. Such spending increases the cost of business, but also constrains growth of the private sector. Externally, Kenya’s tourism sector suffers from negative international publicity on insecurity (Government of the Republic of Kenya, 2007).

 

3.      Impact of insecurity on the economy:

  • Civil wars cost a country on average 30 years of GDP, while it takes trade 20 years to recover to its original state;
  • For each neighbor in conflict, a country loses 0.7 % of GDP every year. This means that state failure in Somalia is costing Kenya around $250 million per year.

 

4.      Security challenges:

§  Constitutional challenge on the composition of the National Police Service Commission may delay and hinder implementation of police reforms;

§  Organized Crime- emergence of organized militia group;

§  Regulation of the Private security industry;

§  Number of Policemen/women to population ratio;

§  In fracture of the Police force including equipment and efficient transport services;

§  Hate speech and political incitement.

 

5.      Recommendations:

  • Need to complete the security “suite” of laws and pass the Police Reform Implementation Committee;

        Issues of the Authority composition of the committee needs to be resolved as it is “government heavy”;

        Issue of arming of private security needs to be resolved;

        Modalities of incorporating private security participation in security;

        Registration and licensing of security companies.

  • Community Policing moving beyond concept stage and into a working, living reality.

 

 Having heard the private sectors opinion, one constant message passed across was that businesses should support the Government in mobilizing resources to make sure that security is enhanced before, during and after the general elections set for March 4th 2013. Speaking at the forum, Commissioner Mathew Iteere from the Kenya Police service indicated that the Government is working hard to make sure that we have proper general elections. “I want to assure the gathering that we have laid foundations for proper security. Our officers have been sufficiently trained on ground control where they know their limitations on what they can do…” He further stated that both the Government and the private sector need to change the security architecture; otherwise it will be a blame game always on the police.

 

Responding further from the audience, the Commissioner addressed the following issues too

 

To begin with, business leaders were concerned on what the Government is doing on the issue of community policy. Commissioner Iteere pointed out that the first community policy was launched in 2005 through the help of Dr. Manu chandaria. Since then, more community policies have been in place. He however noted that one of the biggest challenge they are facing is availability of financial resources to implement more centres. He further noted that the Government has started with 4 centres and will soon expand to make sure that this issue is addressed accordingly. It costs about kshs. 18m per county to set up Community policing 

 

Touching on the increasing number of small arms, the Commissioner assured the Donor Community together with businesses that security official have been alerted about this. He further indicated that they were mainly coming in from Somalia. This he said were ways to destabilize the country’s security given the security issues the two countries are facing. He however assured businesses that his team is aware of it and acting accordingly.

 

Business leaders from the tourism sector were also concerned about the travel advisory that embassies are issuing to their fellow country men and women. The commissioner pointed out that given the massive security initiatives that they have put in place, there is no need for embassies to issue security alerts. Business leaders pointed out that these travel advisories have adversely affected businesses in the tourism sector. They further indicated that if these diplomats are living in the country safely, there should be no reason to raise an alarm to potential tourists but to work together with security agencies to address cases of insecurities in different areas. He also urged the Tourism sector to utilize the tourism police unit especially in areas where insecurity is still high.

 

Commissioner Iteere concluded his remarks by urging the private sector to partner with the Government in providing resources for speed action. He indicated that in the last general election, lack of resources for example lack of serviced vehicles to transport officers to the troubled areas was one of the reason for delayed action. He therefore requested the private sector to issue vehicles before, during and after the election to ensure maximum security is achieved. Another request was for the private sector to work with the Government in making sure that police officers needs are catered for. He further assured the private sector that issues like hate speech and incitement are being addressed and no politician will be speared. He told the business leaders and the donor community that the Government has partnered with the NCIC in ensuring that these issues are identified and dealt with. the private sector in commending the police force that really gets recognized for their work will host police awards early next year for police officers that have been exemplary in the service to the public.

 

The Government together with the private sector agreed of the following as the way forward:

o   Tackle the root causes of insecurity; poverty and unequal distribution of resources especially through the National Budgeting process

o   The EIBC preparedness on election and to seek help where they need from other stakeholders

o   NCIC be keen on hate speech and work closely with all stakeholder;

o    The police force to share intelligence reports with the private sector and the diplomatic community on where they need help but also what private sector and diplomatic community can do to enhance security;

o   The private sector and Diplomatic community to feed and assist the police during the period of election at least for a month

o   The private sector to further initiate more forums starting with the upcoming Speakers Round Table on Nov 23rd and 24th in Mombasa and county forums on security through the business associations in those regions

 

Amb. Geert. A. Andersen from the Royal Danish embassy represented the diplomatic community. He indicated that police and security are often caught in different situations. He noted that the private sector and diplomatic community are working together to make sure that security issues are dealt beforehand. One of the initiatives that the donor community is directly involved is the KEPSA led Mkenya Daima initiative; a peace campaign supported by leaders from the private sector, the religious groups, the civil society among others.

 

In attendance were senior business leaders under the umbrella of  KEPSA led by the Vice Chairman Vimal Shah and the CEO Carole Kariuki, representatives from the donor community led by Amb. Geert A. Andersen from the Royal Danish Embassy and top officials from the Ministry of state for provincial Administration and Internal security led by the acting permanent secretary Mr. Mutea Iringo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENDS

ABOUT KEPSA:

KEPSA (Kenya Private Sector Alliance) is the national apex body of the private sector in Kenya.

§  Mandate: Private sector development;  by providing a unified voice for the private sector through advocacy for an enabling business environment, capacity building of its members and building strategic partnerships.

 

§  KEPSA comprises of more than 80 organized Sector Business Associations popularly known as BMOs (Business Membership Organizations)

 

§  Has approximately 190 corporate organizations,

 

§  Together having a reach of more than 80, 000 corporate.

 

§  Not aligned, non-political and all-inclusive. Its membership is diverse with large and small investors alike.

 

§  Current partners:

·         The Government; Executive, Judiciary and Parliament

·         Development Partners

·         Civil society

·         The media

·         Similar private sector organisations around the world

·         Other strategic partners

 

 

kepsa logo Lateral version signature-1-01 finalx

 

Carole Kariuki | Chief Executive Officer

Kenya Private Sector Alliance | 5th Flr, Shelter Afrique Building, Mamlaka Rd

P.O Box 3556 - 00100 Nairobi

Office: +254 20 2730371/2/2727936 | Fax: +254 20 2730374

Cell: +254 722 154 742| ceo@kepsa.or.ke

www.kepsa.or.ke | In Pursuit of an Enabling Business Environment

 

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