Copied from Facebook user @/Nyamwange Ombuna.
If there is an avenue people used to become millionaires in Kibaki’s era, then it was the stock market. From 2002 when Kibaki took over to 2007, KQ shares moved from the lows of 10 to over 150. Same trend was observed in Mumias Sugar, TransCentury, EA Cables among many others.
The stock market remained so important that in 2007 polls, it was prominently used to give the status of the economy, using it to bargain for peace. While the stock market gave retail investors a place to make some money, it’s corporate investors who often made a kill.
Raila Odinga, the the opposition Chief, having observed that few tycoons were locking the market for themselves and locking out other Kenyans, he questioned in Parliament in 2007, a period around when Safaricom was issuing its first IPO. Amos Kimunya, then finance minister, emotionally and bitterly told Raila a stock market is not a fish market to expect him to work the way he wanted.
The diss was so strong the speaker ordered Kimunya to withdraw it. He was coming to defense for guys who had create shell firms to purchase majority shares in Safaricom and Kenya Re, and failed to disclose their identities. As it is usual for all wisemen, Raila had seen ahead. It’s the same same cartels that were now moving to purchase majority shares using shell companies that would work for the death of the same market.
President Kibaki era came to a close and we welcomed two thugs, christened as digital dynamic duos. The duo oversaw the funeral process of the NSE. Mumias crashed to a point of being delisted from the market. KQ shares came back from the highs of 140s in 2007/8 to less than 5bob. Many other firms have not been spared.
Safaricom, issued at 5 bob with many analysts predicting it to cross the triple figure within the medium term got stuck at 10s and 20s, it often smells 30s occasionally. NSE all share index has never smelt close to what it recorded around 2007. In UhuRuto’s ten year period, the stock market brought pure tears to investors. Unlike Kibaki era, those who made millions/billions in UhuRuto era were instead thugs feeding on kickbacks and corruption.
Effective August, a man who was told the stock market wasn’t a fish market will take over and that market will be a priority to him. In fact, the massive capital withdrawal by foreigners who had heavily invested in NSE may partly account for the dollar crisis we have today. As much as Ksh. 400 billion have been withdrawn from NSE by foreigner investors in past few months.
If we create a thriving economy, where firms are thriving, and listing in NSE, we’d attract foreigner investments to address the dollar shortage. Kenyans must be wise if they want a functional economy once more.