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Traders close shop over violence fears

Daily Nation
Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Kenyans have taken precautions to cushion themselves against any outbreaks of election violence.

Businesses and individuals put in place measures to guard against the looting and torching of their premises and homes as was witnessed after the 2007 polls.

In Kisumu, which was one of the violence hotspots in the last election, traders closed shop until after the elections.

A number of major business outlets, including Nakumatt Supermarket, remained closed on Monday.

Hawkers and small-scale traders have also cut back on their stocks. Mrs Jennifer Kere, a representative of small-scale traders in Kisumu County, said they had cautioned traders against displaying their wares until after the release of official election results “and all is clear”.

Residents have also stocked up on food at home. “I don’t want to take chances. In 2008, I went hungry not because I did not have money, but because there was no place to buy it,” Mr Morris Omondi, who was shopping at Ukwala Supermarket, said on Sunday.

Ukwala Supermarket, which was hard-hit in 2008, has enhanced security and put up metal grilles.

In Mombasa, traders have taken precautions to secure their premises and property.

Motor vehicle dealers have removed new and used vehicles from their yards and showrooms.

At Associated Motors Limited and Trans African Motors on Jomo Kenyatta Avenue and Aisha Motor Dealers Limited on Moi Avenue, the showrooms were empty.

Tuskys Supermarket Bandari branch manager Benson Njoroge said shopping was unusually high at the weekend.

However, shoppers Jane Mativo and Laiji Gorsiyasaid the elections coincided with their normal month-end shopping.

Petrol stations were also busy with the number of motorists seeking to fill their tanks on the increase. Some were travelling upcountry to take part in the elections.


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