Transport paralysis as anxious Kenyans await poll results

Transline Bus Company have parked their vehicles along the Kisii-Kilgoris roads since Monday. [Eric Abuga, Standard]

Public Service Vehicles (PSV) operators in Kisii have taken a break as Kenyans await the outcome of the presidential election.

Transline Classic Bus services had their vehicles parked along the Kisii-Kilgoris roads.

The bus company operates along the Migori-Kisii-Nairobi-Mombasa route. The company also has 14-seater shuttles that ply Migori-Kisii-Nakuru route as well as Kisii-Kisumu.

At the Kisii main bus terminus, most passengers remained stranded late into Tuesday afternoon. Those who were travelling back to Nairobi were forced to hire taxis. Mary Moraa said she travelled to Kisii on Sunday to vote with hopes that she could travel back Wednesday morning.

"I have been camping here since 6am. The few 14-seater matatus are charging double the normal rates. We have been told to pay Sh2,200 instead of Sh1,500."

More than 500 matatus operating on short distances within Kisii and Nyamira also remained off the road after the owners were contracted to ferry ballot papers. Most of the taxi ranks in Kisii and Nyamira town remained deserted for the second day yesterday. Also operating away from their station were taxi operators who were also hired by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Most small and medium-scale traders in Kisii kept off, with most business people having travelled to their rural homes. Main streets in the town remained abandoned particularly by Mitumba traders.

Several restaurants too remained closed with a few alcohol-drinking joints opening late on Wednesday afternoon. Charles Mochobe, a member of the Kisii town bar managers' association, said normal operations would resume once the presidential results are announced.

"There is a lot of anxiety, locals and doing takeaways. Hopefully, we will resume full operation by Thursday," he said.

Shops within estates also remained deserted while in Nyamira County, there were few matatus operating to and from different routes.

Several public offices were open but few civil servants showed up at work. A number of them had been deployed as Presiding and Deputy Presiding officers.