Business as usual in Nyeri despite the on-going demonstrations
Tuesday March 21, 2023,
By Yvette Kimani/Joyce Kiragu
It was business as usual in Nyeri town as residents ignored calls by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance leader, Raila Odinga to protest against President William Ruto’s government.
A spot check on Nyeri’s bustling streets showed residents going on with their daily activities.
Those who spoke to KNA said that they will not be participating in the mass action whose outcome was likely to benefit a few members of the political class and hurt the business community.
For Justus Omondi who, works at Kukena Nairobi booking office in Nyeri town, he will not be participating in the mass action since disrupting his normal work schedule may interfere with his income. He said he supports the Azimio leader but argued that his responsibility as a family man were more urgent that his political interests.
“Even if I support the Azimio party leader, I will not be part of this demonstration since they will not offer me any support financially at the end of the day. I will not get anything and I will still be expected to put food on the table,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Duncan King’ori, a ticket vendor from 2NK Ruai- Bypass in Nyeri who told KNA who in addition to boycotting the protests asked reassured travellers to Nairobi that transport services will go on uninterrupted.
“For me, business has to go on as usual because even as we speak most businesses cannot afford to close shop even for an hour because of demonstrations. For us in the transport industry, we are reassuring our customers that there is no need for anyone to fear going to Nairobi since the government has already assured us of security. Currently we already have customers as usual and the prices are still the same,” he said.
Charles Kande, a bodaboda rider in Nyeri town, said that he would not be part of demonstrations that have been declared illegal by the government. He said that those who were leading the course had not shown genuine interest in improving the welfare of the citizens.
“What if I get arrested participating in this illegal protest, who will bail me out or even feed my family while I am in custody? These politicians are just calling for such protests for their own benefits because if I get arrested they will not be concerned,” said Kande.
Sabina Wachira, a fruit vendor in Nyeri town said that she opened her business early in the morning like any other day.
She said that she has observed that people in Nyeri seemed disinterested in the on-going demonstrations and she hopes the entire country decides to boycott the protests.
“I think those who will show up for the protests did not learn anything from the previous mass actions after an election. It would be better if the country unanimously decided not to waste time on the streets demonstrating but rather making ends meet,” said Wachira.
Raila had on March 14 announced nationwide protest on Monday March 20, to push the government to reduce the high cost of living. The countrywide mass action was expected to involve company boycotts, strikes and sit-in in government offices.