Businesses stay closed ahead of poll results announcement

Friday August 11 2017

Youth hold a demonstration at Kondele in Kisumu

Youth hold a demonstration at Kondele in Kisumu County on August 11, 2017. Businesses remained closed as tension escalated in the town. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Businesses in Kisumu County remained closed for the third day on Friday as anxiety gripped the lakeside city in anticipation of the official announcement of the presidential results.

Most residents stayed away from the central businesses district as police patrolled major roads within the town.

At the Kondele roundabout, one of the notorious area for violent protests, anti-riot police were occasionally forced to lob teargas canisters at rowdy youth who had blocked the roads.

The police were at some point forced to intervene and rescue motorists using roads linking to the Kondele roundabout after irate youth begun harassing them.

A youth throws stones during a demonstration in Kondele,

A youth throws stones during a demonstration in Kondele, Kisumu County, on August 9, 2017 in protest to provisional presidential results. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some of the businesses such as supermarkets, banks, hotels and food stores remained closed as the streets were deserted.

Kisumu Business Owners Association chairman Israel Agina said most businesses in the area had recorded losses due to poor sales.

"As we speak, a majority of businesses are closed down. We are counting heavy losses and a majority of customers have opted to remain indoors after voting," he said.

Mr Agina said the situation is attributable to the elections because customers had purchased goods in bulk, and are being frugal.

Mr Ben Kitoto of the chamber of commerce and industry said traders have reported low sales since residents are only buying essential goods.

"We are feeling the pinch and businesses are unable to meet targets unlike the same time last year. The elections is having a spiral effect on businesses," Mr Kitoto said.

He added: "Business is [at] an all point low. It’s been quite a bad day. Our business has been on an all-time low."