Nairobi’s late-night businesses are yet to pick even after the government lifted the curfew

Nairobi's deserted streets

Public transport operators who spoke to The Weekly Vision Online say commuters are yet to adjust to the new freedom ushered in by the lifting of the lock-down, they complain of few commuters after 9 pm

By The Weekly Vision Online

It may take a while for Kenyans to get used to the relaxed hours that followed the lifting of the dusk to dawn curfew as announced on Mashuja day by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he lifted the paralysing dawn to dusk curfew.

But the curfew, in force since March 2020 appears to be still lingering in the minds of many. For many “night curfew” has become psychological and continues to determine the opening and closing hours for many businesses.

Long-distance bus operators blame Uganda’s lock-down for the poor business as most Nairobi-Kampala bus passengers prefer night trips

Several public transport operators who spoke to The Weekly Vision Online say commuters are yet to adjust to the new freedom ushered in by the lifting of the lock-down. Nairobi’s public transport operators complain of few commuters after 9 pm and many business premise proprietors say they are forced to close down early.

In restaurants and bars, the story is the same with peak hours ranging from 6 pm to 8.30 pm. After 9 pm, patrons become scarce, down to a trickle. Managers at restaurants and bars that now close at 11 pm told our writer that there are virtually no customers to serve after 10 pm.

Long-distance bus operators blame Uganda’s lock-down for the poor business as most Nairobi-Kampala bus passengers prefer night trips, they arrive at the border and have to wait for daybreak to continue.

Kampala has remained under dusk to dawn curfew since 2020 and at one time completely banned public transport bringing life to a standstill. Adjusting to a life of no night curfew remains a growing challenge even in Nairobi’s suburbs made worse in crime-prone estates. Thugs at night virtually impose their own “curfew” many say warning that arriving after 10 pm is fraught with many risks.

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