Businesses profit from Uhuru Kenyatta's inauguration

Tuesday November 28 2017

Uhuru's inauguration

Young people display miniature flags and other items they bought at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi, during the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 28, 2017. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Traders in Kasarani, Nairobi, on Tuesday cashed in on the huge influx of visitors during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing-in ceremony.

Restaurant owners and drink vendors made a killing.

Some hawkers sold Jubilee-branded merchandise such as T-shirts, caps, umbrellas and toys for children. Others sold replica Kenyan flags.

“This is a big day for business. This morning alone, I have made more sales than I usually make in a whole week. I hope to sell even more flags before the end of the day,” Mr Martin Waithaka said.

“Today is a good business day for us,” a manager at a newly-opened restaurant in Kasarani said.

Some individuals provided parking for motorists at a fee.

The only other time this year when the 60,000-seater Kasarani Stadium hosted a crowd as large Tuesday’s was during the IAAF U-18 athletics championships in July.

This was after the local online community mobilised other Kenyans to attend the last day of the competition to cheer the national team.

At the inauguration, the public was, however, not allowed to access the stadium with bottles and beverage cans.

Ushers and the police ensured those getting into the stadium finished drinking their beverages and left the bottles outside.

The scenario was, however, different in the city centre as most businesses remained closed for the best part of the morning.

A spot check by the Nation revealed very little business activity.

Along the busy Kimathi Street, all restaurants except Java were closed.

An attendant said business was low in the early hours at the eatery that is usually busy on ordinary days.

“We routinely open even during public holidays. Few customers have come this morning but we expect the situation to change as the day progresses. People must eat despite it being a public holiday,” she told the Nation.