Bitter Sweet! See What The Anti-IEBC Protests Cost Nairobi Businesses

CORD’s weekly demos are already shaping up to end completely for good as IEBC commissioners have agreed to take a bow if a dignified pay deal is made.

And since the demos got suspended, such questions as just how much the anti-demos cost attract answers that come with an elephant-size asterisk, since so much was apparently ruined including lives, property and resources. 

Before now, no critical study has really placed a figure at how much anti-IEBC demos cost Nairobi businesses in reality. 

Not anymore anyways, as Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), in partnership with TIFA research, carried out a study whose reports give a glimpse of what the country actually lost in total during the bloody demos.

Based on the findings, District (CBD) lost at least Sh48,304 every time there was anti-IEBC protests which took place in May and June.

Also, it shows that businesses which saw greater revenue losses were from banking and finance sector, losing an average of Sh166,727 per day.

TIFA Director Maggie Ireri noted that many enterprises suffered losses since they were never ready for the demonstrations nor expected they would be so chaotic.

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Speaking during the report presentation, she said:

“The Nairobi City demonstrations have left a financial toll on the business community. For every day there was a demonstration, businesses registered reduced sales as they remained closed or experienced a reduction in the number of customers”.

The Director added that the survey also found out that 68 percent of businesses lost revenue from the complete shut down of business during the protest.

The employees missed work due to inaccessibility and there was destruction of property and looting, Ireri explained.

About 85 percent of business said they were directly affected by the demonstrations in terms of revenue loss, number of customers, as the businesses were closed, and several others were looted and or destroyed.

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A newspaper vendor claimed a daily loss of Sh10,000, while a boda-boda rider said he lost Sh5,000, and hawkers Sh3,000.

However, the largest loss was recorded by a bank, Sh900,000, a restaurant in the CBD Sh150,000 and forex bureaus, Sh60,000.

“The study found out that losses were experienced by nearly every business in the CBD,” Ireri added.

The study was done last month using 509 businesses as a sample size. Ireri says more than half of the businesses setup in the CBD are not taking precautions to reduce the risks posed by the demonstrations.

Eight to seven percent of businesses are also not considering attempts to move from CBD, believing the challenge will be duly addressed.

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The Director reveals that the micro business are more likely to feel the worst of protests as compared to large business since they do not have broad system of coping with and enduring such crises.

Commenting on the study, KEPSA Chief Executive Officer Carole Kariuki explained that whereas it was the right for anyone to picket as per the constitution, it was important that law and order is maintained and that chaos is avoided.