Coast Business Coalition has called for the suspension of punitive levies by the County government of Mombasa, which they say, are likely to trigger capital flight from the coastal city.
Through their chair Dr Sam Ikwaye, the business community warned that investors will be forced to relocate their businesses to friendly counties where fees are favourable for their businesses to thrive.
The business community is protesting the inflated fees by up to 100 per cent in transit fees, single business permit, liquor licenses, hotel levy and parking fees.
“We note with utmost disbelief that the levies most of which are double from last financial year, are contrary to our proposals tabled during public participation on the finance bill,” said Ikwaye in his statement.
The coalition observed that despite being invited for discussions during public participation exercises, their input was ignored and that they are only used to rubberstamp the process while their demands are ignored.
Ikwaye cited the difficult environment for doing business in Mombasa due to flight of business opportunities occasioned by the SGR phenomenon and urged the county government to take a unified approach in collaboration with the business community to handle the situation.
He said the outrageous rates do not make economic sense and added that instead, the fees will serve to sink businesses and their economy further.
“We have formally written to His Excellency the Governor for an urgent meeting with the business community in the county to find a practical and sustainable solution for a favourable business environment,” Ikwaye said.
The meeting was attended by various heads of affected business sectors including the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC), Kenya Coast Tourist Association (KCTA), Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (PERAK), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO)