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Githurai traders accuse colleagues of going behind their backs to meet politicians

By Mathew Ndungu
Monday, January 18th, 2021
Members of Githurai Traders Association
In summary

A group of traders from the populous Githurai market in Ruiru, Kiambu County have accused a section of their colleagues of going behind their backs to meet politicians.

They said their only interest was to operate peacefully for economic gains without external political intrusions.

Led by their Chairman Joseph Wanyoike Ng'ang'a and the Market Coordinator Edwin Kairu, the traders took an issue with another group that recently met the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for political reasons.

After meeting Raila Odinga in Ruaka village alongside a group of Kikuyu elders, the traders later presented a memorandum at the premier’s Capitol Hill office containing the grievances that they wanted him and the government to address.

The traders maintained that their views and opinions were not represented in the Capitol Hill memorandum as they were not consulted.

Dismissing the traders-politician meeting as non-inclusive and uncalled for, Wanyoike insisted that the traders who met Raila were not representing the entire Githurai business community.

"We did not send anyone to represent us. They have been calling themselves All Githurai Traders but we are the majority traders," said Wanyoike.

He said that most of the traders were not consulted and that the conveners of the meeting were out to enrich themselves at their expense.

Githurai market is home to over 10,000 traders who earn their daily living by selling both food items and clothing in the expansive area.

"Odinga only met one section of the market traders called Migingo and we have over 10 sections. If he has any interest in this market, there are the agreed-upon channels which he failed to heed to, including following the necessary protocols," said Wanyoike.

In what could result to feuds ahead of sharing the ongoing market allotments once completed, the traders condemned the move of disuniting them ahead of the market division.

Rose Wambui Muhiu, another trader said while she was pleased by construction of the market courtesy of President Uhuru Kenyatta, the completion and operations of the market should not be politicized for personal gains.

Mwiki Ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) where the market is located, James Kimani Mburu said they were shocked by the meeting and accused the traders who met Odinga of using them to advance personal gains.

The construction of an ultra-modern market in Githurai has been marked as a fulfillment of a long-awaited promise by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2017 election campaigns.

Kiambu County injected Sh 300 million while the national government contributed Sh 200 million shillings for the project.