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Businesses Hit Hard by Turmoil in Kenya


MONTAGNE: President Bush heads to Africa tomorrow. It's his second time visiting the continent and this trip is most notable for where he isn't going. The president won't be visiting Chad, where the government just barely survived a coup attempt earlier this month. And he won't make a stop in Kenya either, where deadly post-election violence still hasn't completely calmed.

Peace talks between Kenya's president and the opposition over the disputed election are dragging on without any resolution. And that's of concern to Theresia Ndumbu. She sells beads and African clothing in the Nairobi City Market. She's one of the many business people who've been hit hard by the turmoil there. She joins us from her stall. Good morning.


Ms. THERESIA NDUMBU (Business owner, Kenya): Okay. Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Now, how is business there today in your shop?

Ms. NDUMBU: The business here today in the shop is not that good, because you know the problem we are having here right now. There are no customers coming in. Like today's Valentine's Day. And I can see many people here with flowers. Nobody's coming to buy because there are no customers. Actually, if it continues like this we'll have a problem - a big problem. But this problem came just after the election. It was not there before.

MONTAGNE: Are you optimistic that the president and the opposition leader will be able to come to an agreement?

Ms. NDUMBU: You know, we are like brothers and sisters. And I don't see why they should not come to an agreement. In the first place, these people they are behaving in a way - in a manner that nobody can understand. Because they are behaving like two women fighting over one man and reconcile - which is very bad. They should stop.


MONTAGNE: Are you worried about where Kenya, your country, is headed?

Ms. NDUMBU: I tell you, I'm worried because, you know, we have never experienced this thing before. That's why we are much worried, because we don't know the outcome.

MONTAGNE: Thank you very much for talking with us. and good luck to you in, you know, your shop there.

Ms. NDUMBU: Okay. Thank you so much, my dear.

MONTAGNE: Theresia Ndumbu runs a stall in the Nairobi City Market.

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MONTAGNE: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.