Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ordered the immediate deportation of Chinese traders who have invaded Gikomba, Nyamakima and Kamukunji markets.
Dr Matiang’i seems to have heard the cries of small-scale traders in the three markets who have been competing with the Chinese rivals.
The CS said the six Chinese nationals highlighted in a recent Business Daily headline story are illegal immigrants. He made the remarks on Wednesday in Nakuru during the rolling out new stations for the issuance of e-passport.
“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.
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“We will escort them to the airport, bid them goodbye and ensure they have their dinner at their countries by tomorrow evening,” he said.
City traders have been raising concern at the influx of Chinese traders in informal markets that have for decades served as the entry points for second-hand clothes and cheap Chinese imports.
According to Business Daily, the foreigners are backed by strong financial muscle and have taken strategic control of the supply chain from import to wholesale and down to the retail level.
The teeming Gikomba market has for decades been a magnet for traders from neighboring countries, including Tanzanians, Rwandese and Congolese, but local traders say the Chinese businessmen have posed a new threat to their survival given their deep pockets.