Looting fears keep Kisii traders off

Bar proprietors group condemns Tuesday invasions and looting from their joints

BY Shirin Makhaya

Most businesses in Kisii remained shut for the better part of Thursday with traders citing possible looting as reason for keeping off. .

Several small scale traders who mostly vend their wares on street sides failed to report to work also .

Shops affected by looting on Tuesday were also closed .

A spot check found some traders were fixing the broken grills on their doors ahead of reopening.

On the streets, police in riot gear conducted heavy patrols from street to street though by 3 pm the anticipated protests had not taken place.

The Star counted over eight patrol cars with police in full riot gear going round the County Capital streets.

At Mwembe, a restive flash point, the Star counted five more lorry loads of police officers on the standby. .

Most outlets at the estate, especially eateries, were also looted on Tuesday.

Downtown, pockets of bodaboda riders whistled as the police vehicle passed by.

Traders who spoke to the Star said there were still monitoring the situation before re-opening the business fully.

“I opened mine briefly, attended to a few customers before i closed. I would however still hover around just in case,” Benard Makori who operates a small shop down town Kisii told the Star.

Separately, Kisii County Bar Owners and Hoteliers, KCBOH, officials have condemned the Tuesday raids by goons on various joints in the County capital.

At least three major joints suffered sigficant losses after marauding gangs visited terror before carting away food and drinks.

A dealer in wines and spirits dealer lost a stock costing Sh 2.4 million to the looters during the protests.

She was beside with grief for most of the day Wednesday as she came to terms with the loss.

KCBOH chair Eric Matagaro said the losses suffered by most of his members run to huge millions.

“It can goes higher if you include the cost of doing repairs,” he told the Star.

He asked the youth doing protests to do so peacefully without looting from businesses.

“We may not stop the demos because it is your constitutional right but do them in a way that does not infringe the rights of traders,” said. Matagaro.