Matatu operators plying Kisii - Kisumu - Migori routes today kept off the routes over fear they could be attacked by demonstrators due to the mass protests organized by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance leaders.
Residents largely kept off the protests but instead aired their grievances to members of the press as hawkeyed security officers kept vigil.
Stanley Osiemo said Kisumu-bound passengers were unwilling to travel due to fear, adding that the operators also feared their vehicles could be stoned owing to the protests in Kisumu city.
“We have no business and the protests have affected our passengers. We do not know what we will eat today," Osiemo said.
He appealed to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President William Ruto to dialogue for the government to reduce prices of basic commodities to ease the suffering of Kenyans.
Kennedy Omari, a parent, noted that the protest affected children who were to return to schools yesterday after the end of the midterm break. He implored the two leaders to dialogue and end the economic crisis facing Kenyans.
He said the protests had inconvenienced the children, adding that it would affect their education and impoverish parents.
“Raila is a rich man and he is fighting for the country’s economy to improve. He is fighting for the welfare of Kenyans,” Omari said in Kisii town.
Evans Ontuba stated that the government could have stopped nominating 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) and instead use the funds to subsidize basic goods to benefit Kenyans.
“Majority of Kenyan youths lack jobs and the prices of food and fuel are high. We want the government to give the improvement of the economy a priority," Ontuba said.
Jane Matiabe, Kisii town small-scale traders chairman, said residents kept off urban areas due to fear, lamenting that the move had rendered the traders idle.
She urged Raila, Martha Karua and Kalonzo Musyoka to stop organizing the protests, saying it is affecting businesses and ruining the country’s economy.
“The election is over and Ruto was elected president. Traders have settled and want peace to do business to boost the country’s economy," Matiabe said.
The official said the three leaders and their children are rich, challenging them to allow other Kenyans to do their businesses to enhance their lives.
In Kisii town, armed and helmeted police officers beefed up security at government premises and the capital roundabout, where protesters normally assemble.