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Thika Town experiences the ‘quietest’ Christmas in decades.

A collage photo showing how various streets of Thika town looked like on December 26 2018.

For quite a long time, Christmas time was dreaded by many as the riskiest time of the year due to the high number of burglaries, violent robberies and muggings, house breakings and murders. Thika reported so many of such with criminals taking advantage of the festive season’s exodus to reign terror on residents.

Last year, a 55-year old woman was on Christmas morning stabbed to death by an unknown number of people outside her house in Makongeni Phase IV Thika. Several other incidents were reported at various estates within the town.

This year, Thika residents experienced a relatively quiet and peaceful Christmas with virtually no major criminal incidents reported. Police patrol within the town and its suburbs was quite high, both on foot and via police vehicles, essentially paralysing criminal activities across the region.

On 25th December 2018, the streets of Thika were left virtually deserted as the town underwent its annual Christmas exodus - leaving the CBD like a ‘ghost town’. The ever busy streets like Kenyatta Highway, Uhuru Street and Kwame Nkrumah Street had no people except families walking helter-skelter with travelling bags heading to the main bus station and bus termini destined for upcountry.

Even with the fares were raised threefold, most of these passengers remained stranded due to the scarcity of passenger vehicles.

However, Nairobi bound matatus had very little business as few people were heading in that direction.

Thika superhighway bore the blunt of this exodus as motorists and commuters especially those who were heading to the Murang'a direction had to bear with a 30km long traffic jam from Juja to Kabati in Murang’a County.

Those remaining behind breathed a sigh of relief as they enjoyed the relative calm on roads free from the usual thronging crowds of people.

Majority thronged entertainment joints and churches with family for merry-making and worship while some decided to enjoy some good time at home with family and friends.

Nonetheless, some residents had no luxury of celebrating Christmas with the rest. Bodaboda riders, hawkers and attendants of entertainment joints and supermarkets were still working during the festive period.

Majority of those who were self-employed said they could not afford to miss the opportunity to make a quick buck as they expected increased business as residents stock up on food and buy clothes to celebrate with their families.

Come the 26th, the town regained part of its human traffic even though majority of them were busy travelling upcountry for their late Christmas family get-togethers. Only a few shops and stall remained opened for business with supermarkets and hawkers making the last minute “kill”.

Others took advantage of the absence of people to renovate and paint their business premises as they prepared for the new year.

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