Starehe MP Charles Njagua alias Jaguar reckons the government might have had a hand in the recent inferno at Kenya’s largest open air market, Gikomba.
The Thursday morning inferno razed part of cereals and mitumba clothing sections.
Traders lost goods estimated at millions of shillings. This was the the second fire since the beginning of 2020.
According to Jaguar, it was suspect that National Youth Service (NYS) recruits were on Friday seen at the market taking down structures put up after the Thursday fire.
In a series of tweets, the first time MP claimed that GSU officers were also on site preventing those against the demolitions from accessing the area.
“NYS recruits are in Gikomba right now. They’re demolishing stalls that traders had reconstructed after a mysterious fire razed them on Thursday morning. GSU officers are also there protecting the recruits. Is this exercise a sign that the govt was involved in the recent fire?” he posed.
NYS recruits are in Gikomba right now. They're demolishing stalls that traders had reconstructed after a mysterious fire razed them on Thursday morning. GSU officers are also there protecting the recruits. Is this exercise a sign that the govt was involved in the recent fire?
— Hon. Jaguar (@RealJaguarKenya) June 26, 2020
He called for the immediate stoppage of the “insensitive” demolitions.
“I ask for an immediate halt to this exercise. NYS recruits should go home. Any security officer present in Gikomba should be there to guard the reconstructed stalls and other properties owned by traders. The govt exists to protect property. It should not oversee its destruction,” he continued.
On the material day, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and Housing PS Charles Hinga toured the area.
They promised to investigate the cause of the fire and compensate affected traders.
They were to receive Sh10,000, each.
“As directed by the HE, @Karanjakibicho, @PSCharlesHinga DG NMS Mr.Badi area MP Yussuf Hassan are hosting leaders from Gikomba Market at the ACC’s office after assessing the damage caused by last night’s fire incident. The Govt pledged to find a permanent solution to the problem,” a tweet from the Interior ministry read.
In 2019, the country’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.