Uhuru orders investigation into Gikomba fire, pledges support for victims

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that he is planning...

Speaking while on a campaign rally in Meru, Mr Kenyatta has assured the hundreds of traders who lost their property that the government will help restore normalcy in the East and Central Africa’s largest second hand cloth market.

“The government will work with Gikomba traders to rebuild and modernise the market,” Uhuru told his supporters in Meru adding that the police should carry out a speedy investigation into the cause of the fire.

“The Government will stand with the affected traders by building the market to enable them continue with their business,” said the President.

He added: “Security agencies should move with speed to investigate the cause of the fire, and those believed to be behind the criminal act should face the full force of the law."

Sentiments by Mr Kenyatta come even after Planning and Devolution CS Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, amid visiting the scene, divulged that the fire might have been an arson attack.

Arson attack

In a statement issued Friday morning, Mr Kiunjuri said: “from the initial reports we are getting, we are saddened that they appear to point at foul play”.

The CS said the government had already set in motion investigations to establish the cause of the fire.

“Let it be known that stern action will be taken on the culprits should the investigations establish foul play,” the CS added.

A fierce inferno broke out on Friday at around 3 am and lasted for over five hours, razing down millions worth of property, with traders helplessly watching their investments go down in ashes. Drama ensued when rowdy youth attempted to pounce om the burning cloth bundles in a bid to loot.

Earlier in an update, the National Disaster Management Unit said that the fire was quickly spreading to a building housing two banks. Already the fire fighters have contained the situation by the time of publishing this story.

This is the second time Gikomba Market has suffered a similar fate after the 2015 incident which left hundreds of traders stranded. The County Government of Nairobi City has not issued any statement.

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