Businesses in Nairobi, Kisumu and other parts of Kenya are staring at huge losses after opposition leader Raila Odinga called for protests every Monday and Thursday to push for a set of demands including return of subsidies to tackle rising cost of living.
In a media briefing on Tuesday, Mr Odinga said protests will be held every Monday and Thursday due to public demand even as he extended his calls for a boycott on the usage of services from some companies.
“We call for the boycott of Safaricom, KCB and Radio Africa media, particularly The Star Newspaper, who have become enablers and facilitators of this brutal regime,” noted Mr Odinga.
On Monday, Kenya witnessed a return to a spectacle last seen in 2018 as police mounted barricades on key road links guarding installations all in a move geared at preventing Mr Odinga and his supporters from accessing the office of the President at Harambee House as well as State House, Nairobi.
“Yesterday we suffered losses, I mean heavy losses. We collected very little revenue as the county Government of Nairobi. If protests will be there every Monday then we are going to suffer seriously in running our county,” said Governor Johnson Sakaja on Tuesday.
Besides the city centre, chaos, destruction and closure of businesses was also witnessed in some parts of Kisumu, Kitale, Migori and Homabay counties.
The opposition says its protests are meant to bring down the cost of unga (maize flour) but in the chants are also calls for inclusion of Mr Odinga’s proposals in the electoral reforms.
Mr Odinga’s convoy and protests were met with heavy response from the police, “there was an attempt of the lives of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. Their cars were shot at but luckily, they were unharmed. We remain horrified and disgusted by the response by the police,” he said.