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Gikomba Market Traders In Anguish As Stalls Are Flattened

Traders at Kenya’s largest open air market, Gikomba, woke up to their stalls being flattened.

The early morning demolitions were done under heavy police presence.

It is said that the stalls were taken down to make way for road construction.

This comes two weeks after a fire razed cereals and mitumba sections of the market.

Traders lost goods worth millions of shillings but the government led by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho promised to stand with the business people.

At the time, those who lost property were to receive Sh10,000 compensation.

Two weeks ago, Starehe MP Charles Njagua Kanyi alias Jaguar wondered whether the government had something to do with the second inferno witnessed in this year, alone.

According to the legislator, National Youth Service (NYS) recruits were on site demolishing stalls. GSU officers were also present.

“NYS recruits are in Gikomba right now. They’re demolishing stalls that traders had reconstructed after a mysterious fire razed them on Thursday morning. GSU officers are also there protecting the recruits. Is this exercise a sign that the govt was involved in the recent fire?” he posed.

“I ask for an immediate halt to this exercise. NYS recruits should go home. Any security officer present in Gikomba should be there to guard the reconstructed stalls and other properties owned by traders. The govt exists to protect property. It should not oversee its destruction.”

In 2019, the country’s largest open-air market went up in flames at least three times. The last incident took place in August when property estimated at Sh100 million was destroyed.

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