Business resumed Wednesday, August 10, in Mombasa after residents returned to work after casting their votes on Tuesday.
The streets roared back to life even as tallying of votes progressed at a snail’s pace. According to residents and entrepreneurs, they have already done their civic duty and were ready to get back to work regardless of who clinches the presidency.
Vendors, cyber cafes, restaurants, banks and entertainment joints resumed operations to maximise profits as other businesses remained closed.
Eunice Atieno, a fishmonger in Majengo, said she could not stay at home longer while she has fees, rent and other bills to settle.
Ms Atieno said the economy is harsh and requires non-stop work to cope up. “I have three children to feed. I have a business to run and loans to settle. How can I stay home waiting for winners to be announced?” posed Atieno.
Mr James Ondiek, a cyber operator along Digo Road, said his family demands have to be met despite the election period. He said his children are expected back to school on Monday.
He said as the Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallies the votes and announces the winners, Kenyans should go on about their business as usual. “I can’t sit back waiting for winners to be announced,” said Ondiek.
Kassim Omar, a restaurant owner, said staying at home would not change the results. “I voted for my leaders and even if I camp at the polling station, let alone stay at home, I won’t change the results. So it is better to get busy and open up business. Already, we lost the whole of Tuesday,” said Omar.
Fruit and vegetable vendors at Marikiti Market along Digo Road also opened their stalls as customers milled in to replenish foodstuff.
In Bamburi, entertainment joints reopened their doors to revelers who were keenly following the tallying of votes.
Mr Reagan Mwaniki, a pub owner in Bamburi, said customers had been trickling in since morning and closely following the counting of votes while enjoying themselves in moderation.