Most businesses have reopened in Nairobi and in the western town of Kisumu, despite opposition leader Raila Odinga’s call for protests.

A motorcycle driver manouvres through obstacles placed on a street by supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga during the latest protests in Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya, August 14, 2017.
A motorcycle driver manouvres through obstacles placed on a street by supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga during the latest protests in Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya, August 14, 2017. (Reuters)

Most businesses in the Kenyan capital reopened on Monday despite a strike from the opposition leader Raila Odinga over last week’s election result.

Many shops opened up again in the capital Nairobi and in the western town of Kisumu for the first time in days.

Cars and buses were moving around on streets that had been deserted even before the result was announced of the August 8 presidential election.

In Kibera, Nairobi’s biggest slum where opposition support is strong, minibuses and taxis were also plying their trade through the rubble-strewn streets.

Some food stalls and phone and money outlets also opened their doors for business.

Ken Nabwere, a Nairobi resident, said he had little choice but to return to work after days of inactivity even though he supported the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition which called the strike.

“I was supposed to vote and (leave) the rest to the politicians because if I was to boycott work today those guys don’t pay my bills,” he said.

“I would advise others that unless you have permission from your boss, then you better go to work,” he said.

TRT World spoke with journalist John-Allan Namu who is following the developments from Nairobi.

No turning back

Opposition supporters said they remained determined to overturn the result.

“Even if we don’t work for one or two months, no problem. God will help our families survive, said Frederick Olando, a 34-year-old father of three in the western city of Kisumu.

“We voted and we have to get our rights.”

The election commission declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by 1.4 million votes. International observers said the vote was largely fair, and a parallel tally by domestic monitors supported the outcome.

But protests erupted in opposition-supporting pockets of Nairobi and in Kisumu, where defeated opposition leader Raila Odinga has strong support.

Kenya is the economic motor of East Africa but most of its 45 million population rely on informal work to make ends meet.

Election commission figures showed that Kenyatta won 54.3 percent of the vote, ahead of Odinga on 44.7 percent. Nearly 80 percent of the 19 million registered voters cast their ballots.

Though Odinga says the vote was fraudulent, his NASA coalition has ruled out going to court and says it will announce its strategy on Tuesday.

A Kenyan human rights group said 24 people were shot dead by police in the violence. 

The police have put the number of dead at six and said those killed were armed criminals who attacked officers who were attempting to arrest them.

The Kenya Red Cross said on Saturday it had treated 93 injured people.

Source: Reuters