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Kisumu means business after poll chaos

Normalcy has returned to Kisumu despite calls by opposition leader Raila Odinga for residents to remain indoors and boycott work.

Activities had been disrupted in the lakeside city following outbreak of violence after IEBC announced Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the August 8 poll.

BATTLES

The chaos led to loss of lives and destruction of property, with some protesters being injured in running battles with police.     

Transport flowed smoothly with boda boda operators ferrying people to and from the town, same to matatus and buses which accessed the town’s main bus terminus without trouble.

This went on despite Mr Odinga’s call to his supporters to keep off work on Monday to mourn people killed in protests.

He spoke on Sunday for the first time since the independent Electoral and boundaries commission declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the poll.

Most traders said they could not stay at home because they have nothing to eat.

TRADE

“We have been running up and down because of the demos and there is no money we have made,” said Mr David Ochieng, a second-hand clothes seller at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports ground.

“We cannot continue being at home yet we have children to feed and that is why I opened business today.”

Together with other traders, they raised fears over Mr Odinga’s next course of action.

“We do not know what announcement will be made tomorrow because it could affect us directly,” said Esther Aketch, a small-scale trader at Jubilee market.

In a bid to calm the situation further, the county security intelligence committee on Monday met the incoming Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, Kisumu Central MP-elect Fred Ouda and other members of the county assembly and resolved that the people should open up their businesses.

SERVICES

“Those who want to deliver their produce and offer services should do so because all roads are secured and boulders removed to ease transportation and travels,” said Mr Maalim.

Kisumu County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim and the county leadership sounded a warning to criminals who are taking advantage of the situation to terrorise residents.

Mr Maalim, who pointed out how saddened he was at the sight of helpless women selling their vegetables outside a police station at Ahero in the past few days out of fear of attacks, said it was relief that normalcy has returned to the county..

“How many people can we accommodate in the police stations to carry out their business?” he said.

“We have secured the city by initiating several lock- ups to ensure no criminal disturbs the prevailing calm in the town.”

WORKERS

Mr Maalim similarly warned civil servants who have not reported to their work stations that they risk facing disciplinary action.

He has communicated to all departmental heads in both county and national government to ensure all staff have reported to work from Monday.

“Departmental heads are taking a rollcall so that we know who has reported for duty. It is about ensuring that Kenyans get timely and quality services they deserve,” said Mr Maalim.

He said the deputy county commissioners were also doing the same at the sub-county level.

“Election is over and we have resumed normal life. Nobody should have an excuse that there is still fear to report to work, we won’t allow and instead disciplinary action will be instituted against them,” said the commissioner.

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