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Eastleigh businesses to shut down over crackdown

A major shutdown is expected in Eastleigh today as business owners close shop to protest at police harassment.

This comes even as police announced that they will deploy an additional 1,000 in the county next week to fight terrorism.

Yesterday, the organisers of the protests moved around the vast estate collecting Sh5,000 from each business to organise today’s event.

Mr Hassan Gulled, chairman of the Eastleigh Business Community said their businesses had suffered serious losses as a result of the crackdown in the area which has seen thousands of residents arrested since last week.

“We have voluntarily decided to demonstrate tomorrow over the harassment by the police. We are really suffering and it will not be business as usual,” he said.

Demonstration

“Every person who owns a shop here contributed Sh5,000 to help us hold the demonstration,” he confirmed.

Nairobi county police commandant, Benson Kibui however maintained that the operation to rid Eastleigh and the rest of Nairobi of criminals and illegal immigrants would continue and warned against holding any protests.

“The operation will continue and we do not expect anyone to hold a demonstration in Eastleigh,” he said.

Speaking separately, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said 1,000 new graduates from the Police Training College in Kiganjo who had been among the 6,000 officers conducting the ongoing operation would be deployed permanently in Nairobi.

“We will deploy an additional 1,000 police officers next week. Most of them will be graduates from the Administration Police Training College and the General Service Unit,” Mr Lenku said during an interview at the Easy FM studios.

He added that the country’s security needed more officers to deal with crime.

Soon, he said there would be special officers to deal with specific crimes in the city including homicide, kidnapping, muggings and even terrorism.

“We have to change the way police work depending on the trends of crime in the country,” he said.

Currently, the country has less police officers than what the United Nation’s recommended ratio of one officer to 450 civilians.