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Businesses disrupted as customers wait for poll results

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – Businesses in Nairobi are slowly picking up two days after Kenyans voted in the general election.

A spot check by Capital FM Business shows economic activity has slowed to a trickle though more shops are now open compared to Wednesday, a day after the elections.

Those who spoke to Capital FM Business say business has gone down due to a reduction of people in the capital as major firms remain closed.

“We are open, we believe that even after the announcement of the presidential winner, the city will remain calm; our worry is the people who are staying away from the city, they should know that the city is safe,” a trader in the city told Capital FM News.

More pharmacies, restaurants, tuck shops are open compared to electronic shops who consider it risky to open before security is assured.

“Business is so slow, we normally serve about over 100 clients by now, and today we have only served five, we believe better days are coming,” a studio photographer in Nairobi hoped.

Just a handful of supermarket outlets are open in Nairobi’s CBD, and the few are having to close early due to the limited foot traffic.

However, the retailers recorded a higher than normal business before the elections with some supermarkets boosting their stocks by up to 40 percent.

Naivas Chief Operating Officer Willy Kimani says some outlets registered higher traffic than the usual busy Christmas season.

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“But business is very low now. We have opened some branches and customers have kept away probably until the results are announced,” said Kimani.

Chandaria Industries Group CEO Darshan Chandaria says it is also possible the bulk shopping customers that happened earlier in the week means that people don’t have to shop for a couple of days.

“We are hopeful that it will be business as usual by this weekend,” Chandaria says as he acknowledges that the wholesale and retail sector has slowed down.

“The faster the economy gets back on its feet the better for everyone,” adds Chandaria.

Meanwhile, trading in the capital Nairobi is slowly picking up but most shops remain closed waiting for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to announce the final results.

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