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Jaguar blames govt after Gikomba stalls are demolished

A section of traders at Gikomba market are counting more losses days after their stalls were demolished overnight by unknown people.

In a series of tweets shared by Starehe MP Charles Njagua Kanyi, the MP blamed the government claiming they had a hand in the recent inferno at Kenya’s largest open-air market.

According to the MP, the traders arrived at the market on Saturday morning only to find their stalls had been demolished.

In his tweets, Mr Kanyi said that the stalls were demolished by NYS recruits in the company of GSU officers. Nairobi News could not independently verify the claims.

“NYS recruits are in Gikomba right now. They are 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 wrote.

He condemned the act while at the same time calling for an immediate halt to the exercise.

“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,” he continued.

On Thursday, the government said that the frequent fire incidents in Gikomba market were deliberate acts of arson.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, speaking after assessing the damage caused by a fire incident that occurred on Thursday at dawn, warned those behind such attacks that they will face the law.

“We just want to warn people that we believe are behind this is in futility. Gikomba is public land and it shall be used for public purposes even if we relocate traders who are here to the new markets that we are building,” he affirmed.

He also said that the market infrastructure will be modernised with the first phase set to be concluded within three months.

He warned those aiming to displace the original stall owners. “There is no way this place will be converted into private spaces,” he said.