Traders in Kamukunji market have rejected Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s suggestion to move to China Square located at Unicity mall, owned by Kenyatta University.
Kuria had advised the university’s Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina to buy out the lease of China Square and hand it over to the Gikomba, Nyamakima, Muthurwa and Eastleigh Traders Association.
However, traders have expressed their reluctance to relocate to Thika road where the mall is located, stating that it will affect other businesses in Kamukunji market that depend on each other. Josephat Waithaka, a jewelry seller, said that moving from Kamukunji would destroy many businesses as they depend on each other.
Njoki, a household items seller, added that even if they agreed to move to Unicity mall, they would not shift fully. They would still hold shops in Kamukunji, as their customers know they always locate them there.
She suggested that if the Chinese outlet closed down, traders could go occupy that space and set up their businesses there. But it would still be another branch for their businesses.
When China Square opened, traders decried that their customers were shifting there, as goods were being sold at a cheaper price.
Some of them even sought to have the outlet closed. Currently, China Square is closed as the government tries to settle the matter. It is not yet clear what the final decision will be, but traders in Kamukunji market are not willing to relocate.