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Jamhuri traders protest alleged grabbing of their market

The peaceful demonstrators walked through the streets of Nairobi chanting anti-City Hall slogans while demanding explanation from the County Government/MIKE KARIUKI

The peaceful demonstrators walked through the streets of Nairobi chanting anti-City Hall slogans while demanding explanation from the County Government/MIKE KARIUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – Hundreds of traders from Nairobi’s Woodley-Jamhuri market on Thursday protested alleged grabbing of their market by a private developer.

The peaceful demonstrators walked through the streets of Nairobi chanting anti-City Hall slogans while demanding explanation from the County Government.

The traders were also carrying placards with “Soko yangu maisha yangu’ (My Market My Life) messages. They headed to City Hall where they demanded to be addressed by Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero.

“We want the Governor to explain who is behind the grabbing,” they said.

Mary Wangeci a trader at the market wondered: “Where will I get my daily income if it is true they want to grab this market? We have rent to pay and kids to feed.”

Another said: “We shall not continue having more children…how will we feed them if this is the trend?”

The Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke came out to address them and assured the traders that the market will not be grabbed while promising to improve its condition.

“During the campaign period we promised to improve the condition of your market…do you think we can then decide to sell it?” he asked the agitated traders.

“We want to honour our pledge to improve your livelihood and that what we shall do.”

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The traders adamantly accepted the assurance but said a proper plan must be put in place to put off people who may be interested in grabbing their market that hosts more than 2,000 small scale traders.

“The County Government must ensure the cartels are not involved…we better have it the way it is,” John Kamanja, a trader there retorted.

The Deputy Governor also received a petition by the traders with an attached map of the alleged commercial buildings set to be constructed on the land.

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