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Life slowly returning to Nairobi’s CBD after polls

Normal activities are beginning to return to the streets of Nairobi Central Business District two days after Kenyans went to the polls. Nairobi was turned into a ghost town on Tuesday, with virtually all businesses closed, as the voting process went on countrywide.

Other than banks and restaurants, all branches of leading supermarket chains had remained closed for the day, while it was also an unusually slow day for matatu operators.

Wednesday too saw few people venturing into town with many businesses still closed.

However, a spot check by Nairobi News on Thursday showed that normal operations were beginning to return to the CBD, although the streets were not that busy.

Pedestrians, traders and matatu operators on Luthuli Avenue in Nairobi’s CBD on August 11, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN CHERUIYOT

Banks and supermarkets have also since resumed normal services after reopening their doors on Wednesday.

One trader who spoke to Nairobi News said he can longer have his business closed since he has bills to pay.

“I’ve decided to reopen my shop today to resume selling my goods. I can’t stay at home any longer. The final results will find me here in my shop,” the trader said.

Boda boda operators are also back to business along the streets.

An open Quickmart Supermarket branch in Nairobi’s CBD on August 11, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN CHERUIYOT

Some of the riders who spoke to Nairobi News appealed to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to hasten the tallying process and release the final results to reduce tension in the country.

On some streets, members of the public congregated outside electronic shops to follow the live transmission of the tallying process of the presidential election by the mainstream media houses. Most of them declined to give their views regarding the current situation.

There was also increased security with police officers patrolling the streets.

According to the provisional results being streamed, the presidential race is too close to call with Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition candidate Raila Odinga, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) flag bearer William Ruto in tight contest.