Business at Nairobi ‘s City Market came to a stand still after stall owners and hawkers were involved in a dispute.
The shop owners said that the hawkers had gone back to the market place yet they were not supposed to be there. The hawkers however said that they had a right to be at the market.
The shop owners decided to boycott businesses closing shop in protest. The owners then engaged into a full blown argument with the hawkers bring business to a stop.
The shop owners have vowed to keep shops closed until the dispute is resolved but the the hawkers continued with their business as usual.
Kamundia Mathenge, a shop owner, said that the problem was caused by the return of the other traders to the market on Saturday after more than a year since they left after being removed from the market over health concerns.
“There has been an outstanding cleanup issue aimed at making the market organized. This resulted in the hawkers leaving more than a year ago but they are now back. We want to know who made the decision to allow them back,” Mathenge said.
The shop owners said that they felt it was unfair to have the same rights as hawkers who did not pay for licences.
The hawkers however led by Titus Odhiambo, blamed the standoff on limited space at the market with traders increasing every day forcing others to sell their products in front of the shops.
Mr Odhiambo also disclosed that Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko allowed their return. He added that they also pay fees to the county where for every basket of fish they pay between Sh300 and Sh500, depending on size of fish and up to Sh1,000 for a sack of chicken.