Kenya: Uneasy Calm in Kisumu As Normalcy Returns in Day Two of Protests

Kisumu — Life is slowly returning to the lakeside city of Kisumu on the second day of protests called by Azimio over the high cost of living.

Whereas vehicles have kept off the roads, cyclists and those on foot could be seen walking along the major roads.

Some businesses have opened up but not at the Central Business District (CBD), where only banks are operating but no clients could be seen inside the banking halls.

Women selling vegetables, onions, tomatoes and those preparing chapatis by the roadsides dotted the areas of Kondele, Nyamasaria, Nyalenda, and Manyatta amongst other areas.

“These are the stocks left, which I am selling,” said Jane Akinyi, a tomato vendor.

Akinyi like other traders are unable to get new stock due to the ongoing demonstrations, which has prevented lorries transporting fresh produce to the city.

A few traders were spotted at the Kibuye open air market, with customers streaming in to replenish their stock for selling and household consumption.

Majority of those who opened up their businesses say they are on the look out to close up should the demonstrators start engaging police officers.

“My eyes and ears are out, I will fold up what I am selling should the situation turn ugly,” said Jamila Amina, selling vegetables at the bus terminus.

Roads however remain barricaded by stones as young people charge some coins to allow those on cycles to pass.

Police officers are stationed at key strategic areas in case the protestors attempt to march through the streets.

A former Member of the County Assembly representing Railways ward Isiah Onyango noted that lack of leadership has caused the start of demonstrations for the second day.

Onyango says police through intimidations have caused fear among elected leaders, who have vanished from the people.

“The people are now left wandering, they engage the police because there is no leadership to tell them what peaceful demonstrations entails,” he said.

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