A new Bill seeking to restrict foreigners to contracts worth more than one billion shillings is set to be introduced in Parliament.
Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua, who has written to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi outlining the reasoning behind the Bill, says the proposal is mainly aimed at stopping the Chinese from doing jobs that can be done by Kenyans.
He says that many firms that are owned and managed by Chinese nationals have taken over the local supply businesses, depriving Kenyans of jobs.
The Mathira MP argues that local businesses can no longer find markets for their products and wants amendments introduced to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act to cure the wrongs.
“We are staring at a very glaring picture. We are having what I would call the chinese economic invasion to the republic of Kenya. This people came here slowly and slowly they are kicking the owner of the house out, economically,” says Rigathi.
Rigathi wants tenders worth one billion shillings and below awarded to firms that are 100 per cent owned by Kenyans. In the Bill, Rigathu is pushing for strict regulations on special circumstances in which contracts valued at less than one billion shillings can be awarded to foreigners if Kenyan firms are unable to do the job.
The Bill also introduces stiff offenses and financial sanctions against any local person who accepts to be used by foreigners to register a company on behalf of any foreigners.
“What is annoying us is that once they get a contract the materials coming for the construction is procured from China, and they import it duty free,” adds the Mathira MP.
Rigathi’s concerns echo those of traders who attended a forum on SMES last week in which they complained that the Chinese have taken up jobs that can be done by Kenyans.
In the letter to Muturi, Gachagua says the foreigners are impoverishing Kenyans by repatriating their profits to their motherlands.