Nairobi News


Foreign PS defers with Moses Kuria as China Square debate rages on

By Wangu Kanuri February 28th, 2023 2 min read

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Korir Sing’oei, has openly deferred with Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Investment and Industry, Moses Kuria, on the ongoing debate over China Square.

The one-stop mall that was this week closed down in the wake of an uproar from local traders over their low-priced items.

Mr Kuria is on record for stating that Chinese investors are allowed in the country as manufacturers and not traders. Last week he called on the Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University to buy out the lease for China Square at Unicity Mall.

Also read: Chinese government responds to Moses Kuria on China Square

Dr Sing’oei on his part has said the country’s investment regime is non-arbitrary and non-discriminatory.

“No lawful investment actor- irrespective of their nationality- should be apprehensive because the country’s investment regime is non-arbitrary & non-discriminatory,” Dr Sing’oei tweeted.

Also read: Moses Kuria now backs Raila’s pre-election stand on imports

Additionally, Mr Kuria has stated that Kenya needs to do away with imports inferring from a stand Azimio la Umoja party leader Raila Odinga held during the last year’s campaigning period.

He said there is no special skill one needs to sell boxers and panties, Kenyans can do it hence fanning the China Square flames.

Mr Kuria has also blamed former Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i for issuing work permits to foreigners.

Also read: Government to raise taxes on cheaper imports amid China square row

However, the mall’s owner Lei Cheng in an interview with Nation recounted how he started off the business after visiting Kenyan supermarkets and noting the exorbitant prices of items.

He smelled a business opportunity, flew back home to China, and roped in some suppliers into the idea of setting up a base in Kenya.

Also read: Moses Kuria now blames Matiang’i for influx of Chinese nationals in Kenya

The debate on China Square has sharply divided opinion among Kenyans on social media. Here is what Kenyans have been saying on Twitter: