Malls closed in Eastleigh to protest hawkers ‘menace’

August 31, 2016 3:59 pm
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The traders who are members of the Eastleigh Business Community Association say the shopping malls will remain closed until the county government intervenes/MUTHONI NJUKI
The traders who are members of the Eastleigh Business Community Association say the shopping malls will remain closed until the county government intervenes/MUTHONI NJUKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31- Shopping mall traders on Wednesday closed their businesses to demand the relocation of hawkers who have become a menace by displaying their wares on their door-steps.

The traders who are members of the Eastleigh Business Community Association say the shopping malls will remain closed until the county government intervenes.

Their Chairperson Ibrahim Hussein says they are losing business since makeshift stalls are established outside their premises.

Their grievances, being the hundreds of hawkers operating outside their premises, some selling similar products at a lower price to their potential clients.

“We better make loss in those three days since already we are not better off,” a visibly agitated Hussein said on Monday.

He urged the county government, to whom they pay their taxes, “to come in and address their grievances. Hawkers too are Kenyans but they must be given a designated place.”

But hawkers who spoke to Capital FM News say they can only move out once they are assured that their market on General Waruinge Street is reclaimed from a private developer accused of grabbing it.

“Where do they want us to go?” one of the Eastleigh hawkers representative, Haji Abdi asked. “We will only leave if the county government returns our market.

Abdi accused the county government of illegally selling their market which, “we had operated in for many years. We did not have this problem.”

The market has led to several protests to City Hall, but the matter remains unresolved despite assurances by authorities.

A spot check by Capital FM News shows that majority of the shopping malls have been closed with hawkers saying it’s their time to make money.

According to Hussein, the malls will remain closed till Friday.

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