Nairobi [Kenya]: Hundreds of traders held protests in Kenyan capital Nairobi’s central business district, Kenya-based The Standard reported. The traders held protests over the infiltration of the Kenyan market by Chinese business people.
Kenyan traders from downtown centres have said that the Chinese traders have driven them out of business and claimed that they were selling goods at affordable low rates. The traders during the protests on February 28 held placards while marching through CBD streets, including Harambee Avenue, which hosts the offices of the president and deputy president, as per The Standard report.
Police blocked the traders from holding protests on Haile Selassie Avenue and other major roads, as per The Standard. The protests have been reported at the time of the temporary closure of China Square, a major store on Thika Superhighway that offers various goods at discounted prices.
Speaking to The Standard, Peris, an electronics dealer at Nyamakima said, “I’m here to protest against the Chinese traders’ invasion of the Kenyan market. The foreigners are playing the manufacturer and seller’s role at the same time, which shouldn’t be the case. In Kenya, they are the distributors and retailers. They’ve locked us out of business.”
Earlier this week, Kenya’s Trade, Investment and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria called for the closure of China Square, Kenya-based People Daily reported. China Square, a one-stop mall, which had opened in Kenya and garnered major traction from various Kenyans from city dwellers.
The Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in a tweet said that he has put in an offer to buy out the lease for the retailer currently trading at Unicity Mall along Thika Road and give it to local traders, as per the People Daily report. Moses Kuria noted that Chinese investors are welcome in Kenya as manufacturers but not traders.
He tweeted, “I have today given an offer to Prof Wainaina the VC Kenyatta University to buy out the lease for China Square, Unicity Mall and hand it over to the Gikomba,Nyamakima, Muthurwa l& Eastleigh Traders Association.We welcome Chinese investors to Kenya but as manufacturers not traders.”