by Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Many opposition supporters in Kenya seem to have heeded to calls
by their leaders to boycott products of companies they accused of working
with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government to defeat electoral justice in recent
Lawmakers allied to the National Super Alliance (NASA) on Friday
named and shamed a list of leading companies, while experts and business lobbies
condemned such boycotts as detrimental to the Kenyan economy already struggling
amid the prolonged election season.
"We have begun the liberation of this country.
"Companies that decided to go to bed with the ruling Jubilee Party will not
be left out and must feel the pinch of their actions so that next time they
remain neutral in political situations," said Junet Mohammed, an opposition
At major supermarkets in Nairobi, some buyers interviewed said they
intentionally avoided products which NASA politicians have isolated.
On social media, NASA supporters rallied each other on the boycott and shared
stories of their actions.
One NASA blogger chided that he did not eat supper in his house after
realizing his wife used products made by a company on the boycott list.
Deputy President William Ruto on Friday termed the move by NASA as an
extortion scheme in the name of boycotting products of companies.
He asked the companies targeted to reject what he called "bizarre, extortion
racket-styled economic boycott" and continue to meet their tax obligations to
"As the government of Kenya, we these other companies to reject the move and
continue with expansion program that will increase jobs in the country," he
Joseph Gacheru, a Jubilee supporter, dismissed the boycott, noting that it
would not work.
He accused the opposition of seeking to destroy the economy.
"The move is likely to hurt business community and will not even last long,"
Gacheru told Xinhua.
Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance also
asked the opposition to go slow on the economic boycott, noting the move would
hurt the economy.
"Reasons for calling consumer boycott are always not due to political
stalemate but by largely revolve around quality and they should not be done by
political leaders," said Cofek in a statement.
Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer in Nairobi, termed the boycott as
detrimental to the companies and the economy in general, noting the move is not
good in the country.
"This boycott has far-reaching consequences.
"It means job losses, lack of creation of jobs and even collapse of the
companies," he said.
NASA politicians have promised to name more companies in the coming weeks
whose supporters should boycott.