The County Government of Kisumu on Thursday, August 4, ordered all bars, nightclubs, lodgings, and markets to be closed from midnight August 8 to 5 pm August 9 to encourage more voters to turn up for the election.
In a directive issued by acting City Manager Abala Wanga, the county noted that the order would prevent residents from overindulging in alcohol among other pleasures, and fail to vote.
With the social joints closed, Wanga noted that voters would easily go to polling stations without many disruptions.
“On August 8, we are going to close all bars, clubs, shops, markets, and lodgings as early as midnight and all activities stopped except the Boda Boda riders who will be allowed to ferry voters to the polling stations,” said Wanga.
He further assured city residents that the county had their best interests and that no one would be forced to vote. He, however, stated that those with ink on their finger - an indication of voting- would enjoy the services later.
In addition, the government official reached out to the Kisumu Bar Owners Association Chairman Daniel Maneno Ouma to ensure that the directive was implemented.
“We had consulted with the city manager and we will ensure that we close in time and monitor clients who have no ink on their fingers. They will not be admitted to the bar,” stated Ouma.
The government official added that a letter was also being crafted to direct supermarkets to comply. Residents were also urged to do their shopping early before the facilities were closed.
Bob Onyona, a bar owner, assured the county government of total compliance. He noted that plans were underway to ensure employees got to travel on Sunday to their registered polling stations and exercise their civic duty.
This directive came after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i declared Tuesday, August 9 a public holiday to give Kenyans ample time to cast their votes for the next government.
"This will afford the people of Kenya the opportunity to participate in the 2022 General Election and elect Members of Parliament, Members of County Assemblies and County Governors, and the President."
The CS's directive was fueled by the increased calls from political leaders to declare Tuesday a public holiday to avoid disrupting the work schedules of Kenyans who intend to vote.