NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – Shops in Eastleigh remained closed Thursday following a protest by shop owners against a court order that reinstated hawkers on the streets there.
The business community in the area is against the order and has urged the Nairobi County Government and other concerned parties act on reversing it.
A few who spoke to Capital FM News stated that the hawkers block the entrances of their premises causing them to lose business.
“My customers come all the way from Tanzania. Now they cannot come here because they know there is a problem and they are keeping away,” one of the shop owners stated.
“We as shop owners have closed our shops in protest to the hawkers taking over the streets here. This is unacceptable and we want them to be taken to another place,” another said.
“When hawkers bring their wares up to the doors of our shops, no one can enter and this has a negative impact on business.”
They now want the County Government to relocate the hawkers so that normal business may resume.
“The government should find them another place like a field to do business so that nobody is affected by this situation,” Ahmed Abdi who owns a shop that sells clothes there said.
There was presence of anti-riot police who were sent there to quell any expected clashes between the hawkers and the local shop owners.
The return of the hawkers led to a clash with the local shop owners for the second day Wednesday with many injuries and damage being reported.
The hawkers say they have an order allowing them to operate there and have asked police to avoid evicting them.
The standoff started when shop owners closed their businesses to protest against the rising numbers of hawkers in the area.