Nairobi News

HashtagMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

Streets of Nairobi deserted, shops closed as Kenyans vote

Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) on Tuesday remained deserted as Kenyans stayed away on election day.

The usual hustle and bustle of the city was missing, with nearly all shops, banks and restaurants closed for the day.

Even some of the popular meeting points in town, such as the Kenya National Archives, were unusually quiet.

The Kenya National Archives in Nairobi on August 9, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN CHERUIYOT

All branches of the leading supermarket chains – Naivas, Quickmart and Carrefour – also remained closed.

Not even the hawkers were anywhere in sight while most PSV saccos recorded low business with few commuters coming to town.

Likewise, the ever-busy Luthuli Avenue was also virtually empty, with just a few boda boda riders hanging around hoping to get some customers.

A deserted Luthuli Avenue in Nairobi’s CBD on August 9, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN CHERUIYOT

Luthuli Avenue is known for shops selling electronics at affordable prices and usually attracts many customers.

The situation was similar at Kencom House, where Nairobi residents mainly board buses heading to Upper hill, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kawangware, and Satellite routes.

A few buses at the Kencom Stage were parked waiting for passengers for long periods, which was unusual.

A deserted Kencom bus terminus in Nairobi on August 9, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN CHERUIYOT

There was little business going on along Kimathi Street, Tom Mboya Street, Moi Avenue and Marikiti Market along Haile Selassie Avenue.

Nairobi has a population of four million people, according to the 2019 census. However, half of the population has been registered as voters.

Days before the election, most Nairobians travelled to the upcountry.

The deserted streets of Nairobi’s Central Business District on August 9, 2022. PHOTO | KEVIN CHERUIYOT