KQ closes town booking offices in Johannesburg, Kisumu over protests
National carrier Kenya Airways announced Sunday that due to planned anti-government protests in Kisumu, Kenya, and Johannesburg, South Africa, its town booking offices there will remain closed on Monday.
Kenya’s protests were called by Mr Raila Odinga, leader of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, in a fight against the government of President William Ruto, which he says is illegitimate. He is also agitating for solutions to the high cost of living, among other priorities.
In South Africa, opposition leader Julius Malema, of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), is mobilising a national shutdown, with the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) joining in.
Mr Malema’s EFF is embarking on the protests to push for the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa and demand an improvement on the southern African nation’s energy crisis.
In a statement on Sunday, Kenya Airways said the town booking offices will reopen on Tuesday.
The move does not affect the operations of all its other booking offices within the airports of the mentioned cities.
“All our other offices within our network, including the airport offices in Johannesburg and Kisumu will be operational,” the statement from the airline’s communication department said.
“Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused by the closure of the offices. The safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers are our highest priority.”
Kenya’s police say the protests are illegal because the coalition did not notify them in the time frame required, but Mr Odinga insists the plan will go on.
Earlier, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure issued a statement saying Monday remains a working day, contrary to Azimio la Umoja coalition’s reference to it as a public holiday.
Professor Kindiki said normal working day activities including learning in schools and other institutions shall proceed normally.
“The government assures the public of their safety and advises everyone to continue with their activities uninterrupted and allow security agencies to discharge their mandate or maintain law and order,” said the CS.
Additionally, Nairobi Regional Commander Adamson Bungei assured business owners operating in the city that there shall be no disruptions that prohibit traders from continuing with their daily activities.
“We wish to assure all Kenyans and persons of goodwill within the city of Nairobi that we have taken appropriate security measures to ensure public safety and movement of people come tomorrow. We are ready to secure their lives and property, but we wish to caution any person that will breach the peace or break the law during the procession shall be dealt with precisely according to the law,” he said.