Traders at Kenyan market cry foul

April 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, April 24 – Traders at the Kangemi market have cried foul over the destruction of their businesses by the Nairobi City Council early on Saturday.

Many say that the action was uncalled for since the market catered for many people’s basic needs.

They told Capital News that investment both in time, energy and other resources have been destroyed in the mayhem.

“The destroyed stall provided everything for me. Why are they treating us this way and we are the ones who have put them in (positions of leadership)?” wondered Constance Omondi, a business woman in the area.

“Someone may have put in everything into the establishment of the business and it’s all gone up in smoke,” Sam Rugut, a carpenter added.

They now want the government to provide them with an alternative place where they can eke out their living.

“The government should take our plight into consideration so as to provide us with an alternative area to work,” Mrs Omondi said.

“We are not coming out of here without being given a place where we can work or else they can take us all to the mortuary,” Mr Rugut added. “Some of us are illiterate, others do not have other jobs; so the destruction of the market has affected everybody,” he said.

However, Westlands District Commissioner Flora Mworoa pointed out that the traders had been given enough notice to vacate the region of the market next to the road.

She said that the directive was issued to enable the government expand the busy Wiayaki Way and blamed the traders for not heeding the call from the government and stated that it should serve as a lesson to them.

“If their property has been destroyed then that is nobody’s fault because for more than two months, we have been talking to these people telling them to move,” she said.

“One week ago, I told the area chief to go round telling people to move and not to increase their wares. The chief went out and did just that,” she stated.

She however noted that an alternative area had been identified to enable Kangemi residents ply their trades.



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