So far tensions in Kenyan politics seem to have little influence on the flower market

Staff
3 Min Read



Last week, tensions were high in Kenya, where tens of thousands of Kenyans took to the streets to demonstrate against a new finance bill. The situation spiraled out of control on Tuesday when police in the capital Nairobi opened fire on demonstrators who stormed parliament. The bills now appear to have been shelved for the time being, but due to the many protests, daily life in Kenya came to a standstill for a number of days. Shops were closed and roads impassable, mainly around the capital.This could have an impact on the trade in flowers and plants. However, for the time being, this does not seem to be the case.

According to Bob Andersen of Mount Elgon Orchards Ltd. there is little sign of the unrest in the area where they are located: “We are not directly affected because we are not close to Nairobi. We only find that it is more difficult for us to receive goods because the factories are closed.”

The CEO of a Dutch packaging materials company based in Nairobi, Kenya, says that it has been a turbulent week: “But calm has somewhat returned since Friday. The demonstrators announced five days of mourning at the end of last week for the victims among the protestors. On Tuesday, July 2, they will take to the streets with white flags and make a statement. We feel that, despite the President’s rejection of the finance bill, the demonstrations are not over yet. After all, the government has suffered significant damage. The arrival of the army on Kenyan soil,and the shutdown of the internet on Tuesday has led to considerable criticism among the population and international partners. We hope that the demonstrators, the police, and the Kenyan army can control themselves so that further casualties can be prevented. It is impossible to predict how the situation will develop in the coming days.”

Frans Ederveen from Flora Delight, a company that has been growing various varieties in Kenya since 2013, is also shocked by the situation: “Although I am currently in the Netherlands, my partner (who lives in Kenya), informs me every day about the situation. It is sad what is happening there, but the aggression is mainly aimed at the government, which wants to impose heavy taxes that will mainly hit the poorest part of the population. Fortunately, we do not experience any of this sad state of affairs. “

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