Two of Kenya’s largest supermarket chains – Naivas and Quickmart – are among businesses that will close their branches on election day, August 9th. Kenyans are set to go to the polls to elect a new President as well as Governors, Senators, MPs, Woman Representatives and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).
A statement from Naivas disclosed that all 84 of their branches would be shut on election day. Shoppers will still be able to make orders on their e-commerce platform on election day, but no deliveries will be made until the next day.
“We urge you to carry out prior shopping to avoid inconveniences,” the supermarket advised. Naivas branches are scheduled to resume regular operations a day after the elections on Tuesday, 10th August 2022.
Quickmart branches will also be reopened on 10th August from 7.00am. “We pray for a peaceful election,” the chain shared.
Naivas and Quickmart both stated that the closures are intended to give their staff members an opportunity to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.
Many other businesses in sectors including retail, hospitality and construction are likely to close their doors on election day as well. Kenyans and the business community are hoping for credible polls and a peaceful environment.
Earlier on August 1, the Ministry of Education directed the closure of all schools from Tuesday, 2nd August to 11th August 2022. With numerous schools serving as polling centres, the move is intended to allow for the electoral process to take place unencumbured.
Several companies, local and international, have put several deals on hold ahead of the polls in Kenya – reportedly adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ approach. In past election cycles, the economy has borne the brunt of electoral disputes and mismanagement.
In the contest for the Presidency, current Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are battling to reach the 50%+ 1 vote threshold required for victory in the first round. Roots Party candidate Prof. George Luchiri Wajackoyah and Agano Party’s David Mwaure will also be on the ballot.