Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has revealed that the country lost more than Ksh2 billion on Monday due to protests staged by supporters of the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition.
Addressing members of the press in Mombasa, where he received two consignments of food aid from the US and Ukraine, Gachagua said a number of business owners in Nairobi's Central Business District (CBD) failed to open their shops on Monday morning due to security concerns.
"Quite a number of business people in the Central Business District in Nairobi did not open their shops and businesses arising from fear of looting and destruction of property having considered what happened in Kisumu where the Azimio people looted tents, chairs and food," Gachagua said.
"Azimio people were threatening people not to open by threatening that they would loot their warehouses. As a result this morning because of the lack of business in the CBD the country has lost almost Ksh2billion in terms of business. This is money that should have been circulating in the economy."
He pleaded with Azimio leader Raila Odinga to call off the strike, insisting that the demonstrations were not good for the country's economy which had started showing signs of recovery.
"We want to urge these people to consider this afternoon to call off the chaos, the mayhem, the intimidation because what they are doing is destroying our economy," Gachagua remarked.
"The economy had begun showing signs of recovery and we were getting lots of affirmation from international financial players and other partners but the events that are being organised by the opposition are not good for business and the economy. We want to ask the organisers to call off the mayhem and the chaos so that those who did not open their businesses and shops can go back to work this afternoon."
Gachagua assures Kenyans of safety
He, however, said police are in control of the situation to ensure no lives or property is lost.
"We are happy that President William Ruto is in charge and has ensured that no life has been lost and no property has been destroyed," he added.
Protesters engaged police in running battles in the city on Monday following mass action called by Raila to protest against the high cost of living among other issues.
Yesterday, Raila insisted that the protests were aimed at reclaiming his victory in the 2022 August polls, which he claims were rigged in favour of Ruto.
"Let us all converge in the CBD and begin our grand March to State House to reclaim our stolen victory,” Raila said.
The former prime minister has listed six reasons for the opposition's calls for peaceful demonstrations, including President Ruto's refusal to allow the audit of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) servers, nepotism in the current administration, lack of consultations in the reconstitution of IEBC and broken promises.