, NAIROBI Kenya, Mar 30 – Businesses continued as usual in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Saturday despite fewer customers ahead of the verdict in the petitions filed by Raila Odinga and AFRICOG against the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as president.
Speaking to Capital FM News, retailers at the usually busy Maasai Market behind the Supreme Court said despite heavy security, they were receiving a few customers.
“The business is down. Only a few customers are coming but the security is tight,” Evelyn Aketch a retailer in the market said.
Kenyans were urged to accept the Supreme Court ruling for continued development of the country.
“I am a resident of Nairobi and walking up and down the streets, I am seeing lots of security personnel which gives me joy and the zeal to continue on with my businesses. I believe Kenya is bigger than all of us and it can still stand firm beyond the verdict,” Enock Mwangi said.
Mwangi who was optimistic Kenyans will remain peaceful even after the court decision commended the government for the security measures it has taken to ensure Kenya remains peaceful.
At the Nakumatt store near the court, one of the managers Lillian Onkwemba said they were secure but attended to fewer customers.
“The police are doing a good job but they should not stand outside our business… they are blocking our customers,” Onkwemba lamented.
Earlier on, Nairobi Provincial Police chief Benson Kibui told members of the public to keep off the area around the court building but urged city residents to continue with their businesses as usual, since there was tight security within Nairobi.
“I would like to tell Kenyans that we have completely sealed off the Supreme Court and its premises. We don’t want people to come around as we saw the other day (the day of filing the petition). Security is tight around here but anybody doing business can move on,” he advised.
In Kisumu which is Odinga’s stronghold there was calm as residents awaited the verdict anxiously. Businesses opened up as usual with no security personnel in sight.
It was also business as usual in Mombasa as well as residents awaited the Supreme Court decision. However security was tight as police patrolled areas which were prone to violence in 2007 General Election.
Police patrols were intensified especially in Kisauni, Bombolulu and Changamwe.
Despite being an Easter weekend, shops were opened and Mombasa residents were going on with their normal duties.
Coast provincial Police chief Aggrey Adoli said security had been beefed up and warned that police would not condone any acts of crime.
On Friday, the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo issued an order to all supporters of various parties to desist from grouping around the Supreme Court and nearby premises and promised that massive police deployments will be made in Nairobi and other major towns to curb any cases of insecurity.
Some of the areas include Nakuru, Embu, Wajir, Eldoret, Kericho and Bomet which were largely peaceful as residents await the court decision.
By Joseph Muraya