Former Nairobi deputy governor Polycarp Igathe has thrown his weight behind ODM leader Raila Odinga to succeed retiring President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying business will flourish under him.
Speaking in Kiambu County during a meeting with businessmen and women from the Mt. Kenya region last Friday, Igathe who was the convener of the meeting said the time had come for Kenyans to embrace a business-oriented leadership saying that the past has not been helpful to the country’s businessmen and women.
“Next year going forward, we must mean business. For a long time, we have been talking politics and not business, it is time we changed for the better of our economy,” Polycarp Igathe said.
Igathe further said if Kenyans chose to elect leaders who mean business and not just politics from morning to evening, Kenya will prosper, and the economy blossom.
“I invited Raila Odinga to this event because I have known him not only as a politician, but also a businessman, and I believe if he works closely with the business community, he can mean business,” Polycarp Igathe said.
On his part, Odinga who is crafting a pre-election pact with Uhuru’s Jubilee party said the current tax regime is not favorable to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hence killing the morale of businessmen and women. He says this is disadvantageous to the growth of the country’s economy.
He said the punitive taxes imposed on businessmen have led to many businesses closing down; a move he said has not only led to unemployment but also paved the way for the Chinese to bring into the country goods at lower taxes.
The ODM leader said the only way the government can encourage local businesses to grow in the spirit of ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’ was by relaxing some of the regulations and demands by the taxpayer.
This, he added, will motivate young entrepreneurs to do business locally.
Odinga who is yet to declare his ambitions to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta called on the business community to shun tribalism and work towards building the country’s economy.
“Back in the day, we were at the same level with Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea, today, close to six decades, these countries are wining and dining with the big brothers,” he said.