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The cost of Azimio protests: Nairobi revenue collection falls by half

The country is still reeling from the losses incurred following Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition protests on Monday that affected several businesses.

In Nairobi County alone, the nerve center of the demonstrations, properties, including public infrastructures, were damaged.

The Azimio leader Mr Raila Odinga and other leaders addressed hundreds of its supporters in several places within the county as they called upon the government of President William Ruto to lower the cost of living for Kenyans.

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Running battles at Kencom on 20/03/23. PHOTO| SILA KIPLAGAT

However, the county was largely affected during the protests since its normal operations came to a standstill.

Speaking on Tuesday during the launch of the second Rapid Results Initiative wave, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja revealed how the demonstrations negatively affected the county.

The Governor said that the daily revenue collections plunged by half, and several infrastructures were left in a sorry state.

He stated that they only managed to collect Sh30.3 million on Monday, hugely collected from land rates and parking fees, which were done digitally.

“Yesterday, we collected almost half of the city. We are supposed to meet Sh70-80 million daily…if that continues weekly, honestly we cannot sustain it,” Governor Sakaja said.

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The governor further said that those caught on camera damaging infrastructures should be charged.

“Those who were captured on camera destroying public infrastructures and even private. I saw someone carrying a signpost of Tom Mboya, they must be charged.”

The same call was made by Kisumu Governor Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o, who asked the police to probe and arrest the goons who took advantage of the protests to loot shops and damage properties.

Prof Nyong’o asked Kisumu residents that in the future, they should apprehend those who will be destroying properties and hand them to the police.

“I wish to appeal to the people of Kisumu to help protect the image and investments in the city and its environs.”

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Police use tear gas to disperse protesters in Nairobi CBD. PHOTO| SILA KIPLAGAT

The life of a third-year student at Maseno University was also cut short on Monday’s protests when the police fired gunshots to quell rioters.

Also, several police officers and protesters were injured in Nairobi, Kisumu, Migori, and Homa Bay demonstrations.

During the demonstrations, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, and other businesses were affected in the mentioned areas as fear spread across the country.

Kenya Airways also canceled its operations on the Kisumu route on Monday.

According to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Monday’s protests led to the loss of almost Sh2 billion.

The DP appealed to the Azimio leaders to consider calling off their weekly protests, saying that it will damage the country’s economy.

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