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NMS covers mysterious cross discovered at City Market again

By Hilary Kimuyu January 26th, 2021 2 min read

Confusion has rocked the iconic Nairobi City Market after workers who are doing renovation works covered a large concrete crucifix which was discovered underground.

Nairobi News has since learnt that the work being done by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) was to be halted at the request of the National Museums of Kenya to probe the cross more.

NMS workers who were digging out the old damaged floor to replace it last week discovered the structure that has aroused the curiosity of archeologists and National Museums of Kenya.

Through Museums Director General Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia, a team of archeologists had been dispatched to conduct a survey to try to uncover the mystery surrounding the concrete cross.

But by the time of going to press, the archeologists were yet to arrive at City Market.

Traders at the market said the cross was covered last week by the same people who made the discovery while digging the courtyard where fishmongers normally ply their trade.

Ever since the discovery of the cross slab, Kenyans have been throwing all manner of invectives at the city market discovery with some alleging that the cross was the work of a cult.

“I have received calls from more than ten clients who are asking why some people were buried at the market. Some are saying it is a cultic symbol. However, some are asking if there could be treasure hidden underneath the cross,” Joseph Otieno, a meat seller at the market said.

Mr Otieno lamented that in as much as the discovery could have a historical significance, their business has been affected as many customers now fear going to the market.

All they want is for the archeologists to quickly establish the truth behind the intriguing cross-shaped concrete and clear the confusion surrounding it once and for all.

The site has since been sealed off with traders in the market limited to a section of the building pending studies by the archeologists.

The mysterious cross-like concrete triggered interest by archaeologists and architectural historians on what could be beneath it.

On Sunday, a team from the museums dug around the cross slab which has some pipe points on it as workers wondered whether they had stumbled on a cemetery.

“What we found is that it is made of solid granite and beneath it there is another heavy concrete layer reinforced with heavy metal,” said Dr Emmanuel Ndiema, the archaeologist who assessed the site.

He added that they didn’t know for sure whether it was an ablution block or its historical significance.

While it has no inscriptions on it, the cross was left intact by the museum’s team – hoping to in future scan to establish what is underneath the slab.

“We shall use ground penetration radar or portable CT scan to check the site,” said Dr Ndiema.

City Market was constructed in the 1930s as a European-only market, and it is said that it resembles London’s Royal Horticultural Lawrence Hall which was built in late 1920s.