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Kibera traders urge government to end Azimio demos

Traders in Kibera have asked the government to end the ongoing countrywide demonstrations.

They say their way of life has been affected by the protests called by Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

“The government has seen the losses we have incurred. I sell mitumba (second-hand) clothes and soaps. I have lost everything to looters and I am concerned that we could be having more demonstrations,” a trader told Nairobi News.

Kibera, a Nairobi low-income residential area, has been among the most affected by the bi-weekly protests.

Properties were looted by protestors on March 27, 2023, during the time politicians toured the area and addressed residents at the top of vehicles.

Worse, there was a standoff between area residents later that night, with a church and mosque razed as a result.

“I took a loan to start my business and now it has been looted. How do I move from here?” posed another trader.

Brian Ochieng, a bodaboda operator in the area, says he is unable to work and provide for his family each day there are protests.

“I stayed in the house the whole day. This means that I earn no cash. My family slept on empty stomachs.

Hussein Suleiman meanwhile criticized the burning of a church and mosque.

“This is a Holy month (of Ramadhan) for us. The fight has now narrowed to tribal and faith. This is very wrong. It is my humble request that the government finds a solution to end the ongoing protest.”

But Mr Odinga maintains the protest will continue until his concerns are heard and deliberated upon.

The concerns include addressing the cost of living and instituting dialogue on electoral reforms.

President Ruto has meanwhile dismissed Mr Odinga’s concerns even as Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki warned that protestors will firmly be dealt with by the authorities.

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