NAIROBI, Kenya, August 30 – Traders at the Kinare Market near the Kangemi flyover on Waiyaki way were counting their losses on Friday after county authorities descended on their stalls and demolished them overnight.
The traders rioted along the busy highway to protest what they termed as arbitrary destruction of their property without due notice.
They lit bonfires and blocked the road with huge boulders as they indicated that the demolitions set them back in their plans since many eke a living selling their wares there.
“I have been brought up here, schooled here and I am working here. What do you want me to do now that you have destroyed by only source of livelihood? If you find me in town practicing prostitution you will arrest me. Where do you want me to go?” asked one trader.
The traders protest caused a huge traffic snarl-up on the busy highway but calm was later restored.
“We just came in the morning and found that they had demolished our stalls. And this work provides for some of us who are widows and orphans. Now tell me, by this destruction, where do you want us to go?” another demanded.
Market chairman David Kuria pointed out that many traders had taken loans with credit facilities and now, they were in no position to service them.
“Most of us are doing our work through acquired loans and we are now confused as to how we will pay it off. Our President recently said that if hawkers are to be evicted from a particular location where they have been in operation for more than 20 years, they should be given an alternative site to do their work. For our part, we were never given any notice,” he recalled.
Kangemi ward representative Peter Isuha promised to follow up the issue with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero as he had been assured that no such action will take place.
“On 14th of this month, there was an order from County Hall addressed to the DC stating that the market should be demolished. From there, I went and spoke to our Governor Evans Kidero and he assured me that he will stop the order and no demolitions will continue. Now, I do not know what will happen,” he stated.