Seven Chinese nationals were on Wednesday arrested in Nairobi’s popular Gikomba market for engaging illegally in trading activities.
Following their arrest, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has since signed their deportation orders.
In a statement, the government stated that three of the Chinese nationals had no valid work permits while the other four engaged in employment and other income-generating activities unauthorized under their respective work permit classes.
“Upon further interrogation, seven Chinese nationals were found to have vagrantly flouted immigration rules… Consequently, the Cabinet Secretary in charge of immigration has signed deportation orders as recommended by law,” the statement read in part.
On Wednesday, CS Matiang’i ordered the deportation of Chinese nationals who are trading at the market.
Matiang’i stated: “It is illegal for foreigners to engage in local trading in Kenya. We do not have a classification of foreign traders coming to Kenya to do hawking or local trading. We will escort them to the airport, bid them bye and ensure they have their dinner at their countries by tomorrow evening.”
Mating’i, who was speaking in Nakuru during the launch of an e-passport office, noted that the government was putting in place a good migration governance policy that will contribute to rapid economic growth by influencing the inflow of capital and skills.
His order came after Kenyans expressed concerns over the invasion of the Chinese in the popular market.
According to reports, the Chinese nationals at the market had begun opening mitumba stalls and hawking goods, competing with the already existing Kenyan traders.
Kenyans took to social media to complain of the move by the Chinese to invade the market.
What concerned most Kenyans was the fact that the Chinese citizens are believed to have strong financial backing and were likely to control the supply chain from import down to retail.