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Gikomba traders protest, chase demolition bulldozer

Traders at the Gikomba market have staged peaceful demonstrations after a bulldozer arrived to demolish their stalls.

The bulldozer was reportedly sent to demolish stalls in the market on Sunday evening, but the operator was chased away by the angry traders.

The small scale businessmen had camped inside the Gikomba market to guard their stalls and goods upon receiving their eviction notices.

Dorcas, one of the traders in Kasusu market inside Gikomba, told journalists that despite them selling in the market for so many years, they are often disrupted by fires and eviction notices.

“The eviction notices are sometimes only for 40 minutes, yesterday. We were ordered to leave the market,” Dorcas said.

Dorcas added that the bulldozer arrived in the market at around 9.00 pm, after which the enraged traders successfully chased it away.

The protesters claim that they are not sure whether the government is issuing the eviction notices or a private developer.

They are now calling upon the government to step in and put the standoff to bed so that they get along with their business without fear.

Dorcas further noted that they petitioned their complaints to government officials in the area, but little action has been taken so far.

They are now asking the national as well as Nairobi county government to intervene since they are told to vacate the area every time, yet they are not being shown where to relocate to.

In July 2020, a section of traders in Gikomba Market woke up to find their stalls demolished.

The demolition, which was supervised by the police, was meant to pave the way for road construction in the area.

The police used teargas to disperse the traders at the time who were protesting against demolitions and eviction notices, which they claim are very short and stressful.

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