After the election, there has been violence witnessed in different parts of Kenya, including Nairobi, the capital city. This is after IEBC declared Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of the republic (his win giving him a second term in office for a period of five more years).
Raila Odinga of NASA alleged lots of malpractice, flagrant disregard of the law concerning what steps IEBC, the body in charge of conducting elections, must take before announcing presidential elections results – and him becoming second, he noted was a fraud perpetuated by IEBC officials and leaders in Jubilee party.
And so, with some of the violence that has been witnessed – although calm prevailed over many parts of the country with more people just deciding to stay home – away from work and the streets, business owners in Kenya have been sad fellows – not all of them, but many. Why?
- People have been staying away from the main streets for fear of the police, their bullets and tear gas.
- People have been staying inside away from the streets afraid of retaliation from supporters of either party.
- Some businesses have experienced a lot of losses in the form of looting from some rioters.
- Some business owners have lost their wares and goods to supporters opposed to the candidates they supposedly voted for.
In other words, business has been slow. There has been a lot of uncertainty. The kind of uncertainty that business owners see as a threat. Road-side vendors have kept their doors closed. Some of the markets that are always full have been deserted. Many PSV vehicles have stayed away from the roads.
Business owners even feared that if people boycotted, or couldn’t go to work, they would not be able to make enough money to buy the products and services they are selling.
A lot of shops closed. Some of the ones that remained open could not able to restock in good time – and of course this worried lots of business owners, especially after lawyer James Orengo, Musalia Mudavadi and others on the NASA side walked out of the Bomas of Kenya in protest sensing IEBC was going to announce Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the 2017 presidential elections in Kenya.
They said this was not the end of the matter and also mentioned that they were not going to court.
And so business owners thought there would be more violence and unease (which is bad for most businesses) since NASA would not go to court for redress.
They expected leaders and supporters from the party, and other parties, to go to the streets – to the people – to ensure ‘Uhuru must go’. And this they expected to start immediately after Raila Odinga’s awaited address that was slated for Tuesday the 15th of August 2017 on the way forward for himself, Kenyans, NASA, Jubilee, IEBC and democracy in Kenya.
But he didn’t give the address on Tuesday. And so some businessmen and businesswomen all across the country were anxious and jittery.
When he finally spoke yesterday, Wednesday the 16th August of 2017, he said NASA would go to the Supreme Court of Kenya (comprised of 7 judges) to seek redress, after it claimed it had evidence of IEBC server hack, fraud on the part of IEBC & Jubilee and computer generated figures meant to thwart their attempt to lead the nation.
Many business people can now breathe easy. There is calm. There is increased activity in the streets. People are going back to work. Normalcy is returning. And for business owners, ready to serve Kenyans, this is a good thing.
Now they can grow their businesses further. They can open their doors, restock and usher in customers. For those with business ideas in Kenya, now they can stop putting off their plan to start their limited companies and get their venture going.
Some of the fears business owners had have now gone, even when it seems like Kenya is not out of the woods yet.
For now it is time for business owners to serve customers well, the way they have always done, as they adopt a wait-and-see attitude.
It is time to pray to God Almighty for protection of this nation and His children. It is time to pray for the protection of Kenyan families and the economy. And a time to pray for God’s will to be done in Kenya and in our lives.