More Investors to Flee, 2,000 Haiti Police Officers to Arrive

President Ruto and Haiti

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Finance Bill of Doom

Despite President William Ruto's globetrotting in the effort to place Kenya among the most prudent investment hubs, it may be crucial for his administration to assure foreign investors already in the country of a continued healthy business environment.

On Monday, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chief Executive Anthony Mwangi expressed fears that more foreign investors were likely to flee the country should the Finance Bill pass through Parliament as is.

Specifically, he argued that the bill, which is laden with more taxes, will pile more strain on an already struggling economy.

Part of the affected sectors includes increased cost of manufacturing.

What Mwangi is Saying: "If you look at the export promotion and investment levy cumulatively, what the government has collected is what it used to collect from one company in a month. So you destroy a sector to collect peanuts."

"When you come here as an investor you are taken in rounds with some officials asking for some token. These global investors have no appetite for some of these investment destinations that operate like that," he added.

He remained hopeful that the 17,000 jobs in leather and footwear could be increased to 100,000 while the apparel and textile industry could see opportunities grow from 50,000 to 300,000 if enough incentives are provided.

Catch Up Quick: A week ago, KAM feared that cheaper products were likely to flood the market after local manufacturers were stifled by the bill.

Kenya operates within the East Africa Community (EAC) common market and is also a member of The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) which have free trade areas.

"Any fees, levies, and duties imposed by the Government of Kenya are domestic taxes that affect only Kenyan products and companies,” Mwangi stated.

Affected Goods; Proposed 25 per cent excise duty on vegetable oils will see the price of the commodity rise up to 80 per cent. Locally made basins will also rise from Ksh110 to Ksh200 due to the 10 per cent excise duty imposed on plastics.

  • A bar of soap will rise from Ksh170 to Ksh270 while airtime and internet will go up due to the introduction of an extra 5 per cent extra excise duty.
  • Bread is estimated to increase from Ksh70 to Ksh80 while margarine will rise from Ksh160 to Ksh300.
  • Owning a motor vehicle will be more expensive due to a circulation tax pegged at 2.5 per cent while smartphones,  Loudspeakers, earphones, monitors, projectors, ATMS, calculating machines, and cash registers will be hit by the eco levy

Contradiction: The departures of investors will contradict Ruto's efforts of wooing more businessmen during his recent trips in the US where several deals were signed at the chamber of commerce.

Opposition Fight: Azimio co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka has been rallying all opposition MPs to reject the Finance Bill in Parliament.

All our MPs, you have been instructed to vote No...This is the time to stand with your people,” he stated on May 25.

Desperate Times

After suffering delays in deploying 1,000 police officers to Haiti, the foreign country has opted to send 2,000 police officers for training in Kenya.

The recently returned Kenya Police advance team made the agreement with the Haitian Transitional Presidential Council to facilitate the training to equip the soldiers battling gangs that control 80 per cent of the country.

More Details: The 2,000 Haitian police officers will be taken through a crash course in law enforcement and combat.

The training is expected to take two weeks, and the officers will return to their home country in mid-June 2024.

A photo of the Haiti Police Service
A photo of the Haiti Police Service
Haiti Times

Deployment Delay: Multiple delays have occurred in the deployment of police officers to Haiti, the latest being logistical challenges, which pushed the deployment from an initial agreed-upon date of May 23.

Additionally, for close to a year, President William Ruto’s administration had to deal with multiple court cases challenging the legality of the deployment.

Ruto Insistence: In an interview with the BBC two days ago, President William Ruto insisted that deploying police officers to Haiti was a humanitarian issue.

"We are doing this (deploying police) to forestall and to stop more people from losing their lives to gangs. I have confidence that our security personnel have the requisite experience and knowledge on what to do," he stated.

Here are five other stories we are keeping tabs on for you;

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This newsletter was written by Derrick Kubasu and edited by Brian Muuo.

Washington Mito contributed to the content.

Graphics prepared by Adongo Kyalo.

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