Shopkeepers in Nairobi’s CBD are crying foul over the proliferation of open-air trading stalls housed in tents which they accuse of taking away their business. The open stalls sell anything from imported garments to household goods, shoes, watches and other accessories.
It’s not clear who is running the show as attempts to get a comment from City Hall was unsuccessful but some traders who spoke to The Weekly Vision Online on condition they are not named claimed the group is associated with former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko.
The source intimated that Mr Sonko’s allies at the Nairobi City County are working with his close aides to continue doing business at the flea markets including one at the Kenya Re-insurance parking lot.
Another open air-market is at the I&M parking lot. Top city-county askaris and police are said to pick regular bribes from organizers. A spot check confirmed that organizers of the open-air
Market that violates city by-laws are making a kill as they could be seen counting wads of notes which they later rushed to bank at the nearby Agro house money outlets. In yet another incident some were overheard claiming to be sending cash to a top official at the Nairobi county inspectorate unit. The traders enjoy heavy protection city-county askaris that were spotted keeping a studious eye on the busy street that pedestrians claim is now too congested.
Shopkeepers around the CBD have made appeals to Nairobi Governor M/S Anne Kananu, asking her to disband the open-air traders who they claimed neither pays licence, rent or taxes to KRA like them while accusing some powerful officials of shielding the market.
“This flea market is supposed to be a once or twice affair during special holidays” some of the traders claimed expressing shock that the business that peaked last Christmas has continued until now.
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