Traders cash in on swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani

Traders on Tuesday capitalised on the huge turnout at Kasarani stadium during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing-in ceremony to make a killing.

Vendors of drinks and restaurants made a killing as hawkers sold Jubilee-branded merchandise such as T-shirts, caps, umbrellas and even children’s toys. Others sold replicas of 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 end of the day,” said hawker Martin Waithaka. Others took the opportunity to help motorists park their cars at a fee.

The only other time this year when the 60,000-seater stadium hosted a crowd as large as Tuesday’s was during the IAAF Junior Athletics Championships in July when Kenyans turned up to cheer the national team.

On Tuesday the public was, however, not allowed to access the facility with drinks. Ushers and the police ensured that those getting into the stadium left bottles.

There was heavy security inside and around the stadium as security personnel controlled the large crowd that turned up for the ceremony.

The scenario was, however, different in the city centre as most businesses remained closed.

There was little or no activity in streets that ordinarily teem with people.

All restaurants along the busy Kimathi Street, except Java, remained closed. An attendant said that business was low.

“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 said.

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