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Nyamakima, Kamukunji traders protest outside DP Gachagua's office [Photos & Video]

The protest comes ahead of a meeting between them and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua

Nyamakima, Kamukunji traders protest outside Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's office

Traders from Nyamakima and Kamukunji staged a protest in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) on Tuesday, February 28.

The traders were protesting what they termed as an invasion of the market by China Square, a newly opened store which became an overnight success in Kenya.

The protest comes ahead of a meeting between them and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

According to Importers and Small Traders Association organising secretary Anne Nyokabi, they want DP Gachagua to protect their businesses from what they termed unfair competition.

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"We wanted to demonstrate against the government following serious infiltration of our business space by foreigners, especially from China and Pakistan," she said during a Monday interview with Inooro TV.

"The word about intended protests reached Gachagua who sent emissaries to us with information that he desired that we meet and dialogue, giving March 1 as the date,” she added.

The traders are concerned that foreign nationals engaging in their businesses could push them out, citing market distortions created by the investors.

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Other than disgruntled traders, China Square is also facing accusations of infringing on the rights of a company that claimed it was the sole distributor of Finder-branded items in Kenya.

The Anti-Counterfeit Authority revealed that it is investigating the claims and has seized goods worth Sh50 million from the store for an audit.

On Monday, February 27, as China Square remained closed for the second day, ACA officers spent the better part of the day inside the mall, auditing the products on sale to ascertain the infringement claims.

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We have done a search in the place and the investigation is still ongoing. We will be able to give a statement on that after we conclude our investigation,” ACA Regional Manager Ibrahim Bule told the press.

China Square's legal team said that they are working together with the government and the company to resolve the standoff.

Lawyer Josphine Oyombe added that anti-counterfeit authority officers had visited the premises to check on the goods that had been previously sealed, and they confirmed that all is well.

The store is yet to give a definite timeline as to when the mall will be opened.

In a statement released on February 26, the business announced that it would close to review its operations amid piling pressure from Trade CS Moses Kuria.

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