Revelers who will be seeking to imbibe their favourite drinks within the comfort of bars and clubs in Kisumu on the eve of the August 9 elections will have to stay indoors after the Acting Kisumu City Manager Abala Wanga directed the closure of all social joints ahead of the all-important polls.
Mr Wanga has ordered for closure of bars, nightclubs, hotels, markets and supermarkets between midnight of August 8, to 5pm when voting closes on election day.
This Mr Wanga said is to give chance for mobilization of voters to express their democratic right come the election day.
This is also to prevent possible ‘overindulgence’ in alcohol which may incapacitate some people, preventing them from voting the following day.
“On the 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 Mr Wanga.
He said the move it to allow people to move freely to go and vote and to assist in terms of mobilization of voters without much disruptions.
“This is only for a day. We are not going to harass you but pleading with the business community to understand and adhere. We will only allow those with ink on their finger to enjoy these services later in the day,” said Mr Wanga.
He indicated that he is writing to Supermarkets also to follow suit, asking residents to shop on the August 7th or early on August 8th before they are closed.
Mr Wanga is to issue a circular in regards to these new directives.
Kisumu Bar Owners Association Chairman Daniel Maneno Ouma has welcomed the move saying the will adhere to the directive.”
“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 finger. They will not be admitted to the bar,” said Mr Ouma.
Mr Bob Onyona, one of the club owners in Kisumu also assured Mr Wanga that they will comply and also use help in mobilizing revelers to go and vote through numerous reminders before they close.
“We are keen to ensure all our esteemed clients turn up and vote. We have organized to have some of our staff who registered to vote out of Kisumu to travel early on Sunday, so that they make it on time to exercise their right to vote,” said Mr Onyona, Director of Alleyways Beer Garden.
Apart from closure of entertainment joints, leaders led by Azimio la Umoja Presidential candidate Mr Raila Odinga have been asking the youth to come out and vote overwhelmingly on the material day, while women have also been advised not to give in to any ‘sexual’ advances activity ahead of the elections equated to a battle.
It is in this spirit that the city manager has closed all lodgings within the city.
In the traditional Luo culture, when a man was going to the battle, he was not allowed to spend in his house, the same was discouraged when footballers were going to play an important match, since it was believed that engaging in intercourse on the eve of an important battle, would jinx the quest leading to a defeat at the battle field.