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David Karangu Answers: Are Business People & Politicians Friends?

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Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Others alight plane. David Karangu far back. Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Others alight plane. David Karangu far back.

“I say that tribal politics is for the Wazees... In 1963, there was no tribalism in Kenya. We were united against colonialism. Today we need to be united against poverty, disease and ignorance,” says David Karangu as he answers on the connection of Business and Politics in any society. He says, “Business is affected by politics especially when the business community is pitted against the poor, unions etc.”

Below David Karangu Views on Politics and Business 

Q. Is there a connection of business profitability and good leadership? Is business affected by politics? 

Yes there is a connection. Good governance creates a good environment for investment. Business is affected by politics especially when the business community is pitted against the poor, unions etc 

Q. Small and Medium Enterprises are said to be the backbone of U.S. success story. During campaigns we hear statements like 70% of all workers in U.S economy are employed by SME’s. How is your business connected with government? 

We are not directly connected, but we do provide employment which provides the government with revenue through taxes. We do not bid on any state or federal contracts. 

Q. “In 2008 the state of Georgia State and Local Governments employed a total of 604,002 people. 498,404 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $1,728,268,497 per month and 105,598 were part-time employees paid $110,993,986 per month.” Based on this statement and looking at tax your business pays for this budget what advice would you give Kenyans as they set up County Governments in order to attract SME’s?    

The counties will lure business investment by providing great security, cut the red tape, eradicate corruption and not tax them heavily.

Q. Few very successful business people jump into politics. Among Americans I know only there is Michael Bloomberg the New York Mayor. Why is this? Would you encourage successful business people in Kenya to run even as Independent Candidates like Bloomberg did?

Everyone has their own passion. I will never run for office. I don’t believe that just because you are a good businessman you should become a politician. These are two different skill sets. I would prefer to see successful businesspeople concentrate on building the economy.

Q. You stated the goal of the meetings in Atlanta and elsewhere are so as to get the discussion between leaders and voters so each person learns what a leader can offer them then in the private voting booth decides who to vote for. What would you tell those who are still looking at politics from a tribe perspective? 

I say that tribal politics is for the “Wazees.” The youth who are the majority (especially in urban areas) speak Swahili and while they understand their tribal language, they don’t necessarily speak in that language. The politician who can connect with them on all levels will carry the day. In 1963, there was no tribalism in Kenya. We were united against colonialism. Today we need to be united against poverty, disease and ignorance.

Q. Are business people and politicians friends? Why do business leaders and political leaders engage each other? 

Business and politics are friends because of mutual interests. Without a tax base and without campaign contributions, a politician cannot survive. The businessperson on the other hand needs favorable laws that protect him and provide for a level playing field against the competition. 

 

 

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