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Nyamakima traders protest over China Square operation

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Traders from Nyamakima and Dubois in downtown Nairobi held a protest march against Chinese traders on Tuesday morning.

They were also joined by traders from Kamukunji in demanding protection of their businesses from what they termed as a “Chinese invasion”.

The protests come a day before they are scheduled to meet with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to discuss foreigners’ “takeover” of local markets.

The demo comes in the wake of controversy elicited by the coming of China Square retail outlet of general merchandise whose prices are on average 45 percent lower than those prevailing in locally owned enterprises.

The  local traders insist that they should be left to control wholesale and retail ends of the value chain with some economic experts warning that this might defeat global concept of liberalization of trade and usher in pricing cartels.

However, the proprietor of the now controversial China Square, Mr Lei Cheng, insists his business is legal and is centered on healthy competition.

“We have cooperated with all government directives for opening a business in Kenya and we are here to break the monopoly. The people who are fighting us feel threatened because Kenyans now know we exist and we are not exploiting them in pricing,” Mr Cheng told the media

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