Nakuru Matatus Lost KSh8 Million During Anti-Government Protests

Nakuru, Kenya – The matatu business industry in Nakuru was the most affected during the anti-government demonstrations that were recently halted by the opposition’s Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition. Long-distance matatus took a direct hit from the protests, disrupting transport to and from Nairobi.

According to Central Rift Matatu Owners’ Association Chairman, Stephen Muli, the industry posted a huge loss amounting to more than Sh8 million in the three days that the protests were held. Mr. Muli noted that there are about 50 Saccos for long-distance services, with each Sacco making between Sh50,000 to Sh100,000 a day, depending on the number of vehicles it has.

“We did not have vehicles moving to or from Nairobi on those specific days because of the safety of the vehicle and also the fact that no customer was ready to travel on those days. The losses we suffered were huge because we incurred more expenses without earning any returns,” said Mr. Muli.

The hospitality industry was also affected indirectly, with many clients getting worried and canceling their bookings. Duncan Mwangi, General Manager at Sarova Woodlands, revealed that the sector struggled to remain resilient amid the tension.

“We were lucky that we remained afloat though most of our clients had started getting worried. It is a good thing that the situation was contained earlier because we were actually headed in the wrong direction businesswise,” said Mr. Mwangi.

Ann Njeri, who runs a second-hand clothing business, said she could not travel to get new stock due to the transport challenges. She indicated that the store in which she collects her stock in Nairobi remained closed, while at the same time, there were no public service vehicles ferrying passengers to Nairobi.

“I am happy that things are back to normal, and we have a chance to redeem the losses we made during that period,” she added.

The anti-government demonstrations were held to demand reforms in various sectors, including the electoral system, the judiciary, and the economy. The protests led to disruptions in various sectors, with the matatu business in Nakuru being the most affected. However, with the demonstrations now halted, the industry is slowly recovering, and business is getting back to normal.

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