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PSVs count losses as people monitor votes tally at home

Matatus will resume operations once demand for the service rises. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NMG
Matatus will resume operations once demand for the service rises. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NMG 

The Matatu Owners Association (MOA) says its members within Nairobi and major towns are counting losses due to the ongoing votes tallying process which is being closely followed by Kenyans on television.

MOA chairman Simon Kimutai said most matatus will resume operations once demand for the service rises.

“Matatu owners allowed their employees to take an off-day on Tuesday to vote and we had all our buses parked at petrol stations, garages and at our yards. We are monitoring demand and will resume full operations as demand grows,” he said.

A survey around Nairobi bus termini showed reduced activity with most businesses remaining closed while Nairobians kept off city streets awaiting completion of the counting exercise.

Mr Kimutai said upcountry travel demand has helped shore up the low city activity with most Kenyans heading upcountry for the August holidays.

Buses at Machakos, Railways at OTC bus termini were kept busy by Nairobians heading upcountry where some Nairobi matatus were also roped in to offer upcountry services.

Mr Kimutai said normal business could resume on Friday if Kenyans overcome fear of violence.

“We had been preaching peace during the electioneering period and will be the first ones to resume operations to enable people access their workplaces and later travel back home,” he said.

Many operators withdrew the service after receiving full bookings for the past week to Tuesday when Kenyans went to the polls.

The move saw the remaining upcountry operators hike fares to cash in on heightened demand for matatu services.

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