Chamber of Commerce denies State House meeting had hand in ballot paper tender

The business community has distanced itself from the controversy surrounding the awarding of a tender for printing ballot papers for the August elections.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) however confirmed that on October 5, 2016, they met with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce in Nairobi and later went as a delegation to State House.

Kiprono Kittony, chairman of KNCCI, yesterday said the State House meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta was purely business and six issues were discussed.

He said at no time did Uhuru meet secretly with the Dubai officials, adding that the President is the chamber’s patron.

“Business meetings should not be confused with politics and we urge the political class to refrain from utterances that scare away investors that are in the country to do business and create jobs,” he said.

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The meeting in question, KNCCI told the press, was attended by 10 people from the Dubai delegation and Kenya chapter officials. At the time, 21 delegates from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce were in the country.

Mr Kittony told the media that the State House visit was similar to “what has been the practice with other business delegations from around the world”.

“There was no private meeting between the President and any member of the delegation,” he said.

According to KNCCI, among the issues the delegation engaged Uhuru in was allowing the Dubai airline to fly to Mombasa, work permits for a new supermarket entrant (Carrefour) and investment opportunities available in agribusiness, livestock, fisheries, retail and infrastructure.

Kittony said the tender award to a Dubai-based firm should not be linked to the State House meeting.

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