Business shut in Nairobi as Saba Saba rally kicks off

July 7, 2014
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There was minimal traffic inside the Central Business District and many parking slots remained empty.
There was minimal traffic inside the Central Business District and many parking slots remained empty.
NAIROBI, Kenya, July 7 – Many businesses remained shut in Nairobi’s Central Business District on Monday afternoon as traders feared possible violence during or after the Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park.

A number of traders opened for businesses in the morning but soon shut their premises as shoppers also stayed away.

“We came here early in the morning but we are tense. We are likely to have the shop opened up to around 1pm when they start those meetings at Uhuru Park. But for now we are here,” said an electronics shop attendant on Standard Street in Nairobi.

There was minimal traffic in the Central Business District and many parking slots remained empty.

“I had closed my business on Saturday and Sunday. So there is no way I will close it again today and it’s not a holiday. But for sure our sales will be down but we leave that to God. What we will get is what belongs to us,” said a newspaper vendor whose a majority of customers are motorists.

There were no ugly incidents reported in the city centre by mid afternoon.

Earlier on Monday, anti-riot police at Uhuru Park were forced to fire tear gas at CORD supporters who hurled stones at them.

The minor fracas was prompted by youths who said some of their colleagues had been arrested while trying to gain access to Uhuru Park.

“I did not go to Uhuru Park because what will I get at the end of the day when I go home? I will be absent with an apology,” said an employee in one of the shops on Mama Ngina street.

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