NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9 – Business at the famous City market has been disrupted for the second day in a row on Tuesday as traders who own stalls clashed with hawkers over space at the market.
The stall owners have accused hawkers of spreading their goods in front of their premises thereby blocking their customers, subjecting their businesses to unfair competition.
Traders say that they pay up to Sh100,000 to Nairobi County in taxes annually, while the hawkers only part with Sh50 daily.
The stall owners closed down their premises in protest of the invasion by hawkers.
“The County should find another place and relocate these hawkers because if this trend continues we will make a lot of loses,” a trader said.
The hawkers are now making a kill out of the indefinite closure business by owners of stalls at the market selling their goods to Nairobi residents who frequent the popular meat, chicken, and fish products market.
Hawkers who spoke to Capital FM News said that they are in the market for business adding that they pay for the spaces they are occupying, saying that they will not accept to be discriminated.
“We pay taxes and we have complied with all the requirements including obtaining a health certificate, we are doing legal business,” said Kamundia Mathenge, a representative of the hawkers.
The hawkers argue that the fact that the county government collects Sh50 everyday from them means they are allowed to trade within the city.
“Competition in markets is common and it’s not that we are doing business for free,” said Clifford, a fish vendor at the market.
“The Governor himself said we do business here, who are they to evict us? We are going nowhere!” said another hawker.
The hawkers accused stall owners of attempting to extort money from them in order to allow them do business within the market.
The battle between the stall owners and hawkers comes days after an announcement by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko last week, allowing the hawkers to carry on with their business freely.
The county has however refused to comment on the issue, saying they are following the Governor’s directive.