Miguna Miguna has waded into the China Square fiasco on a day that saw the shopping spot close to review its strategy amid pressure from Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria.
Miguna’s tough demand to CS Moses Kuria on China Square closure
The investor behind China Square, Lei Cheng responded to CS Moses Kuria announcing that the mall would close temporarily
Taking to Twitter, Miguna opined that kicking out China Square that was already offering employment to several Kenyans and offering affordable products in these difficult economic times was an ill-informed move that would benefit no one in the long run.
Miguna opined that should China Square be closed down, then the ban should extend to businesses owned by other foreign investors as well, including banks.
“If we close down China Square and chase away the owner who gave poor Kenyans alternative competitive options to consumer goods, will we be genuine and extend the ban to white-owned enterprises in Naivasha, Nanyuki, Malindi and the foreign-owned ban?” Miguna wrote.
The newly opened store has been making headlines for its fair prices and is said to be a hub for everything from electronics to clothing with concern that it was cutting out traders in Eastleigh, Kamukunji, and Dubois Road in the Nairobi Central Business District.
Trade CS Moses Kuria waded into the matter stating that the Chinese investors should focus on manufacturing and not trading.
“I have today given an offer to Prof Wainaina the VC Kenyatta University to buy out the lease for China Square, Unicity Mall and hand it over to the Gikomba, Nyamakima, Muthurwa & Eastleigh Traders Association. We welcome Chinese investors to Kenya but as manufacturers not traders,” Kuria said.
Lei Cheng, the investor behind China Square maintained that its operations are legal and announced that the mall would be closed on Sunday February 26 and head back to the drawing board to review its strategy.
“My business is legal and is centred 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,” said Cheng added in an interview with the media.
According to the Chinese businessman, the store which is barely a month old raked in Sh20 million in the first two weeks it opened.
"We opened this store on January 29 this year. We are barely a month old. In the first two weeks in business, our sales turnover was Sh20 million. Nowadays, on a bad day we sell goods worth Sh10 million,” Cheng explained.
China Square is located along Thika Road near Kenyatta University at the Unicity mall.
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