Low key Easter for many Kenyans

April 22, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – Kenyans marked their Good Friday with various activities with some opting to go to church while others decided to travel upcountry for their celebrations.

Many of those who were traveling however decried the hike in transport fares saying that the prices had more than doubled. The transport cost to Nyeri town for instance had gone up from Sh250 shillings to Sh500.

“Things have been very difficult this Easter. We don’t have money and life has become more expensive. You can’t even shop. And then right now we want to travel but we are being charged Sh500 to Nyeri town and we hadn’t planned on paying that much,” said one of those who spoke to Capital News.

“I hadn’t planned for anything this holiday because there is no money,” said another interviewee.

Various drivers and conductors however attributed the hike in fare to the spiraling pump prices saying the matter was beyond their control. The drivers blamed the government for the issue saying that it had failed to reduce the fuel prices.

“On normal days we would charge a maximum of Sh250 to Nyeri but we can’t charge the same price at the moment because of the hike in fuel costs,” said one of the drivers.

“Nowadays some of the matatu owners think we steal from them when we give them the money we collected during the day because the amount has declined. A lot of their profits are going into fuel and you wouldn’t also want to make losses if the vehicle was yours,” said a driver called Njoroge.

The drivers also noted that the number of those traveling had decreased in comparison to other Easter holidays.

“If things were normal I wouldn’t be here waiting for passengers; I would have left for my next round already. Business has been slow this time around maybe because of the inflation so most people prefer to stay at home,” said another driver.

For other Kenyans however the holiday meant a time to reflect on life, share with the les fortunate and relax. It was also time to give back to God and worship.

“My first plan was to come to church and then go visit my parents; even if I don’t make it today, I will make sure I see them before the holiday ends,” said Njeri who was waiting for a church service at the Holy Family Basilica in town.

“I will go home after church and just relax,” said Mr Wekesa.

Some like Eudias simply reported to their places of work, like on any other day.

Others were also indifferent to the security threats posed by the al Shabaab saying they wouldn’t stop them from running their daily activities.

“We have other threats aside from al Shabaab. I don’t know who they are so they can be where I am and I won’t even know it. To me even a thug or a pick pocket qualifies as an al Shabaab,” said one of the interviewees.

“The only thing stressing me right now is the price of fuel and you see as a driver you still have to work for your money; threats or no threats,” said a cab driver.

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