Kenya loses Sh3 billion daily from protests, KEPSA says

Police lob teargas to disperse protesters at Quick Mart supermarket in Mlolongo, Nairobi. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Kenya is losing an estimated Sh3 billion a day in light of the ongoing countrywide demonstrations, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) now says.

The losses are attributed to the looting, destruction, and damage of property amid the anti-government protests witnessed in several parts of the country.

“Every time the country’s economic engines are closed for fear of theft and destruction from people who are taking advantage of the demonstrations, occasions unnecessary losses to the tune of about Sh3 billion daily,” KEPSA said in a statement on Wednesday, July 12.

The Alliance has warned that the country cannot afford the prevailing political activities, owing to the harsh economic times and slowed economic growth.

“For a struggling economy, reeling from the effects of a prolonged drought, general elections, and economic slowdown last year and compounded by general global economic challenges, Kenya can ill-afford the political activities currently at play,” it said.

A broken windscreen of a police vehicle as captured in Syokimau. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Just today, vandalism and destruction of property were reported in Mlolongo and Syokimau areas of Nairobi.

Motorists using the Expressway were stranded at the Mlolongo exit after rowdy youths vandalised a section of the road. Later on Wednesday afternoon, The Standard reported that a Quickmart supermarket in the same area was vandalized, and its windows broken as protesters pelted stones.

Demonstrators also lit bonfires and burnt tires, barricading roads in Kisumu and Nyamira towns, as several businesses remained shut.

Transport was also paralysed in several parts of the country including Nyeri, Kakamega, Nairobi, Migori, and Kisumu as matatu operators downed their tools over the directive by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to re-test drivers.

“Businesses provide goods and services to individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of their political affiliations, and must be protected from any political machinations.  By considerable measure, they are also a barometer of our economic stability, and their closure is an affront to Kenya’s national economic aspirations,” KEPSA said.

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