A Thursday morning inferno has razed down Gikomba market’s cereals and second hand clothing sections.
The cause of fire is yet to be established.
Traders tried to salvage what is left of their businesses but it was a case of too little too late.
Why would anyone want to burn the only market where local man gets his livelihood honestly! These fires can all never be normal disasters we are not fools. Gikomba Market is a target. pic.twitter.com/FiHX1NomaS
— Kwale Gunner 🇰🇪 (@Sam_Lulli) June 25, 2020
On February 1, property of unknown value was reduced to ashes at Gikomba.
The fire razed a couple of shoe and apparel stalls.
In 2019, Kenya’s largest open-air market went up in flames at least three times.
The last incident took place in August when property estimated at Sh100 million was destroyed.
Nairobi county governor Mike Sonko then said that building a market would be the solution to the perennial problem.
The fires have in the past been blamed on business rivalries while others note that they are just mere smokescreens.
Four years ago, it was said that the market was deliberately set on fire to flatten Gorofani Estate which was then earmarked for redevelopment through the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (NIUPLAN).
It has also been said that there has been bad blood between the traders and youths linked to Pumwani Riyadh Mosque.
The mosque apparently owns part of the land on which Gikomba market stands.
The youths have in the past blocked lorries supplying materials.
“They claimed the county estate had invaded a section of their land. They even started putting beacons, but police thwarted the move,” a resident told a local daily.
In 2018, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko called on the DCI to look into the recurring fires.
“My administration together with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations is probing the incident to ascertain the cause of the fire as well come up with long term solutions to the perennial fire disasters at Gikomba Market,” said Sonko.
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