It is a fact that many successful businessmen in Kenya especially those of Asian origin have prospered in Kenya by running illegal businesses right alongside their legitimate businesses.
Many ran illegal foreign exchange businesses in the days when there was foreign exchange control in the country. Others have been linked to carjacking and car theft which they finance and thrive on alongside their factories in Nairobi's Industrial area.
Now it would appear that local businessmen are catching up in this game. One prominent Nairobi businessman is said to purchase stolen computers from thugs which he quickly cannibalizes for parts.
Now the Tanzania police are saying that a prominent Nairobi businesswoman gunned down in Moshi, Tanzania, who owned a city driving school had a side business of robbing banks in Tanzania. The truth is that business is hard in Nairobi and if you check out many prominent businesses, survival would be impossible without a side business (legal or illegal).
Already reports indicate that six of the 11 Kenyans gunned down were on the Kenya Police, most wanted list. So if the good lady was innocent, what was she doing with these bank robbers?
Moshi and Arusha are actually the most crime-prone Tanzanian towns and Tanzanians have always believed that it is because of its' proximity to Kenya. Arusha is 4 hours from Nairobi and Moshi is one hour from Arusha. The population of Kenyans in this two Tanzanian towns is actually very high.
As we have said here many times before, Tanzanans have always been highly suspicious of Kenyans and have been stalling on every attempt made at opening up the East African borders for free movement of labor and property believeing that such a move would turn most of Tanzania into another Nairobbery. Now they have plenty of "ammunition" to support their fears, with this latest high profile botched bank robbery.
As you read this Tanzanian business is benefiting tremendously from being able to export products into Kenya without incurring duty while anything that enters Tanzania from Kenya attracts 5 % duty.
I will repeat what I have said here often. Either Kenya should pull out of the proposed common East African market which does not benefit us currently, or Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi should "do common market business" and leave Tanzania out of the equation, at least for the time being. What is currently happening is that a lot of taxpayers' money is being wasted in Arusha where we are gaining very little or nothing.
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