Leave us alone to do our business, women hawkers say


Maasai ornaments
Maasai ornaments

A section of maasai women who sell ornaments at the Kenya -Tanzania boarder in Namanga are up in arms over a plan to oust them from the place from which they conduct their business.

Speaking outside the immigration offices in Namanga on Thursday, a group of more than 200 hawkers said they have fears that as soon as the East African Community immigration offices are completed they will be displaced.

The hawkers said they had already been informed that no hawker will be allowed inside the compound, and that they would instead be allocated a place outside the building gate where they will sell their goods, which mostly comprise maasai ornaments.

“If they tell us to sell our goods from outside the gate, then it will be hard for us to sell anything,” noted one trader, with another adding that the move will edge them out of the market.

The traders noted that drivers who ferry tourists through the border point do not stop outside the gate, as they are not allowed to do so, thus they cannot access their target market.

The women, some of whom have sold ornaments at the border point for over three decades, said losing the market will rob them of their only way of earning a living, and called on the national and county government to build a market for them.

“Our lives depend entirely on this business, we pay our school fees and feed our families from the proceeds of this business,” said one trader.

The traders now say the County Government of Kajiado should ensure they are allowed to sell their wares in the immigration offices compound.

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