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Businesses resume in Eldoret as food prices soar

Traders in Eldoret town and its environs have expressed varying opinions about the state of the economy in the wake of the concluded August 9th Election.

Traders, both retail and wholesalers, matatu and boda boda operators, hawkers among others, have said though normal business operations have resumed, they are struggling to cope up with the high cost of living occasioned by an increase in the prices of goods and services, two weeks after the polls.

They have appreciated the normalcy that is witnessed in Uasin Gishu County as business owners resume their daily activities after closure due to the elections.

Sheila Kirwa a business operator residing at Outspan centre on the outskirts of Eldoret town and selling wholesale goods said the customer demand is better compared to the elections period while at the same time decrying the high cost of living.

“Customers have begun coming back, not as scarce as they were during days before and after elections. Despite the high cost of living, we have to keep striving to make sure we pick up from where we left before elections,” said Kirwa.

On the other hand, Boda Boda operators have expressed joy and satisfaction over an improvement in number of customers they serve per day, boosting their daily income compared to during the elections period when people had travelled to their rural homes to vote, leaving a few in the urban areas.

Simon Nyamae, a boda boda operator in Eldoret town said business had picked up and that they are forced, due to high cost of living, to go an extra mile to earn enough to fend for their families’ daily needs.

“People have resumed work and the business is improving, there are more customers in the morning and evening as most people head to work in the morning and go back home in the evening,” said Nyamae.

Kevin Koech, a shoemaker in Eldoret town attributed the current situation where, businesses operating in to the prevailing political atmosphere of uncertainty in the country and hoped that it may end in order for every activity to return to normal as it was before the electioneering period.

The business community further expressed worry as they anticipate less earnings from their businesses should the Supreme Court of Kenya hearing the petition challenging the presidential elections results, rule that a re-run be conducted, which will in turn affect the customers influx once more.

With regard to the election petition before the Supreme Court, the business people want judges to consider their businesses and the general economy, when ruling on the petition as it will impact adversely on businesses which will halt their operations if there is to be a re-election exercise.

James Tarus, a matatu operator plying the Eldoret Town-Outspan route said that the Supreme Court should expedite its ruling on the ongoing presidential elections results petition in order for business activities to fully return to normal as people are still fearful and weary awaiting the outcome of the apex court in country.

By Ekuwam Sylvester and Mercy Jemutai

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