Business operators count losses after demonstrations in Homa Bay

Business operators in Homa Bay County are counting losses after Wednesday’s protests by the National Super Alliance supporters in their push for reforms at the IEBC.

Some of the items lost during the demonstrations, include food stuff and spare parts sold in hardware shops.

Led by Adajo Otieno who operates an automobile spare parts shop in Homa Bay town, the traders said they lost property worth millions of shillings during the protest.

Otieno said fire lit by the protesters consumed his entire shop which had car spare parts.

I sell car accessories like crank shaft, gear boxes, pistons, rims and tyres. I lost all my property when my shop was set on fire, said Otieno.

He said he lost up to sh.6 million in the inferno.

Otieno accused police officers of being responsible in starting the fire.

An officer threw teargas into my shop when some protesters passed by my door. Immediately fire started consuming the house, he said.

Otieno said he lost gas cylinders and gas tanks which he used in welding.

It will take time before I resume work as most of the items I sold were bought on loan, he added.

Food kiosk operators are also crying of losses after the food they had prepared for the day went unsold.

Jemima Atieno who operates a food kiosk in the town said she did not sell anything on Wednesday.

Atieno said she lost all the food she had prepared as it went bad for lack of proper preservation.

I cannot keep the food that I cook for up to two days. Since no one ate on Wednesday, I had to put all that I had prepared into the dustbin, she said.

Homa Bay Giant Traders Association Secretary General, Jack Nyambega said the county was losing million of shillings in taxes due to the protests.

Nyambega said traders are declining to pay taxes arguing that they are not getting profits.

Most businesses open in the morning and close down two hours later when the demonstration starts. Traders have complained of not getting enough money and thus are declining to pay taxes, he said.

The trader appealed to NASA principals to suspend their protests that will be held daily from next week as the Government announced the ban of the same.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA presidential candidate, Raila Odinga should hold a dialogue and find ways of ending the current high political temperatures, said Nyambega.

Source: Kenya News Agency