Showdown looms in Nairobi as traders oppose mass action, say they will protect their businesses

A confrontation is looming in Nairobi City on Monday after a section of traders opposed the demonstrations called by the opposition vowed to protect their businesses.

In a press conference in Nairobi a group of traders further said they are assessing the total damage and losses they incurred on Monday during the first day of demonstrations with a view of taking legal action against opposition leader Raila Odinga.

“We traders from the Nairobi City County drawn from the Nairobi Business Community wish to strongly condemn the orgy of violence and mayhem visited upon our businesses on Monday and organized by ODM leader Raila Odinga,” said the statement read by Michael Karanja.

They said they are still counting heavy losses after their businesses were looted, customers robbed, and business premises destroyed by violent gangs in the name of mass action.

“We are shocked that as if that was not enough Raila Odinga and his violent and destructive followers are organizing yet another round of mayhem in Nairobi for two days Monday and Thursday,” he said.

“We are here to inform Raila Odinga that we will not allow him to continue destroying our businesses and livelihoods just when the economy is showing good signs of recovery. We will take a stand and defend our businesses. We will not allow him to continue with this menace and on Monday, we will stop him,” Karanja said.

They said Raila cannot claim to be protesting against rising cost of living while he was busy destroying livelihoods of millions of Kenyans.

Karanja said they have had enough of demonstrations by Raila Odinga for many years but this time they will not allow him to get away with destruction of lives and property.

“We are urging all traders whose businesses were destroyed or looted and our customers who were robbed and injured during the Monday violence to record statements with the police so that we can sue Raila for compensation and criminal liability,” said Karanja.

He said they are confident that the efforts and plans being put in place by the government will bear fruit soon saying the economy is already responding well to the interventions put in place.

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