, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Traders at the Nairobi’s Gikomba market took to the streets on Monday to protest against lack of implementation of reduced taxation on second hand clothes, announced in this year’s budget.
The traders paralysed business at the market as they shut down their stalls and marched to the office of the Finance Minister Njeru Githae.
The irate traders were complaining of poor businesses due to the government’s failure to reduce import duty. They also alleged police harassment.
Embakasi legislator Ferdinand Waititu who addressed the protesters called on the police and council askaris not to harass the traders.
“Everyone now wants to see the good work done by the police. They do not have anything against them and we know that the police are also doing its work properly. In this respect, they should ensure that they do not harass any traders,” Waititu said.
Makadara legislator Mike Mbuvi emphasized the need for the government to appreciate the critical role played by the traders at the market.
“We are here on behalf of the Gikomba traders. We have heard their cries. As leaders we appreciate the kind of work that they do and as a result we should show them some consideration,” he stated.
His sentiments were echoed by his Kamukunji counterpart Yusuf Hassan.
“We will not allow our youth to die like animals here in this market so the government should keep vigilant with a view of ensuring there are no extra-judicial killings,” he stated.
Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino who was present emphasised the need for the traders to cooperate with the police in a bid to foster a conducive environment for trade.
“We as the police department welcome you to bring all your complaints to us. We realize that you have a weighty job of developing the nation and when you are at Gikomba, you are doing business. What is important is that we should work together with the police and if we do so, we shall be successful,” he said.