The Star (Kenya) : 2020-09-11

SASA LIVING : 28 : 28


28 THE-STAR.CO.KE Friday-sunday, September 11-13, 2020 SASA GODFREY KIMEGA @Thestarken­ya Imagine going home after a day’s hard work and learning from the late-night news that the line of business you invested in has been declared illegal. Imagine too getting a call in the middle of the night telling you that a demolition crew is ready to descend on your business premises. You had meticulous­ly adhered to the law and obtained the necessary building permits but it seemed the government’s right hand did not know what the left hand was doing when it gave you the approvals. Here’s another scenario: You are a market vendor, a business on which your entire family depends for survival. One day, the local authoritie­s declare that your market is to be moved to a site literally in the middle of the bush to decongest the town. You comply and move (grudgingly) but months later, your revenue is down 75 percent due to low sales. In the meantime, another set of traders are allowed to do business at your former site. DISCRETION­ARY POWERS GANGSTERS’ PARADISE Making money has never been easy, if it were, everybody would be rich. Neverthele­ss, doing business in Kenya can be an excruciati­ngly painful experience demanding every bit of perseveran­ce. Each day presents challenges that could easily knock out your business. Kenya is currently ranked 56 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index. This was an improvemen­t from position OFFICIAL HARASSMENT