When the ICEA-Lion group in their 2022 outlook report predicted that the August 9 general elections would slow down Kenya’s economy, they perhaps did not anticipate that business would slow down for six days in a row after voting.
A spot check in Nyeri by KNA has revealed that many businesses are still closed and the ones that have re-opened say traffic is still low.
Unlike normal days when there is a flurry of activity, for the last six days, streets have been less congested and there are no traffic jams as residents prefer to stay away from the busy Central Business District.
Speaking to KNA on Monday, some business operators have expressed their disappointment as many of the businesses have deteriorated since the voting exercise took place.
They claimed the tallying of the election results was also taking too long hence affecting their business as customers preferred to stay in their homes as they await the announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission.
Edward Mwaura, a bodabodas rider, says that for the last five days, his business has not been going on well since most of the people are indoors while others are yet to return to Nyeri since they travelled to other parts of the county to vote.
“I think most people are watching from their homes as counting continues and the university students whom I transport are not in session. This election has paralysed my business. Usually, l used to make a profit of Sh500 per day but lately, am earning less. My wish is that the IEBC should speed up the process so that we all can resume back to our business,” said Mwaura.
David Mwangi, a matatu conductor plying the Kamakwa Tetu route, says that the matatu business has not been spared either.
Mwangi says that they used to make more than 10 trips to Kamakwa and its environs per day but for the past six days, business has been unpredictable since there were less customers leading to a 0.2 percent profit decline.
“I wish IEBC could hear our cries and finish the tallying soon especially the presidential results. Many businesses have deteriorated as a result of anxiety among citizens on what will happen next hence most of customers are choosing to just stay at their homes,” said Mwangi.
Diana Aloo, a wholesale dealer who deals in shoes at Nyeri town, says that election panic has prompted her suppliers to reduce the quantity of supplies until the election period is over.
A Khetias Supermarket staff in Nyeri who sought anonymity noted that on the evening of August 8, business boomed as many Kenyans rushed to stock up on supplies ahead of last Tuesday’s polls.
Since then, he said, the supermarket has recorded a considerable reduction in the number of walk-in clients.
“On Monday evening, many customers hopped in and were buying commodities in bulk especially food stuffs translating into the huge profits. Currently, we have less customers and are hoping that normalcy will resume soon,” said one of the attendants.