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Mathare roars back to life after a day of Azimio protests

Normalcy resumed in Mathare on March 28, 2023, following a day-long of demonstration the previous day.

A spot check by Nairobi News showed that traders had opened their businesses and children had returned to school despite teargas fumes still renting the air.

Meanwhile, public service vehicles, normally referred to as matatus were plying the route alongside motorcycle taxis, famously referred to as bodabodas.

“We are happy to get back to work,” said Anna Amollo, a fishmonger who plies her trade next to Ruaraka High School.

“I make Sh800 on a good day but made nothing yesterday because I could not risk opening my business. In fact, I made losses because I could not even go to the market to buy fresh produce and the little stock I had got spoilt. I hope these demonstrations will soon end.”

The demonstrations, in an area considered a stronghold of Azimio leader Raila Odinga, lead to running battles between area residents, most of whom are youth, and police officers.

Despite Mr Odinga not touring the area, properties of unknown value were destroyed and a handful of youths were arrested during the skirmishes which started early morning and went on until late in the night.

The black ashes of burnt tires covered the road as red watermarks remained on the street, a sign of the commotion between residents and the authorities.

Stephen Okoth, a businessman says he was forced to close his chicken business.

“The rowdy youths caused fracas within the area as they engaged in battle with police. This forced me to close my shop. I never sold yesterday but today I believe things will be better,” Okoth said.

On the other hand, Christine Akinyi also noted that the fracas forced her to spend the night in her chemist.

“I stay in Huruma and I have a shop at Mathare North. I could not go home because of the prolonged fights,” Akinyi noted.

Mr Odinga has vowed to continue the protests until President William Ruto addresses the cost of living and brings dialogue on electoral reforms.

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