Matiang’i orders deportation of all foreigners trading in Kenyan markets


Matiang'i orders deportation of all foreigners trading in Kenyan markets
File image of Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang'i. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • This follows public outrage over the increased presence of Chinese nationals trading in Nairobi's Gikomba market.
  • Speaking in Nakuru, Matiang'i said all the foreigners trading in Kenyan markets are operating illegally.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i has ordered the deportation of all foreigners doing business as traders in Kenyan markets.

This follows public outrage over the increased presence of Chinese nationals trading in Nairobi’s Gikomba market.

Speaking in Nakuru on Wednesday, Matiang’i said all foreigners trading in Kenyan markets are operating illegally, since the government does not issue ‘trading’ permits.

“We are not issuing work permits to traders. We don’t do that as government. We don’t have a classification of work permits called traders and any people who are in markets trying to trade… those are illegal immigrants they are here illegally and our security understands that. We will deport them,” said Matiang’i.

He further pointed out that foreigners are not issued with work permits while they are already in the country.

“We stopped issuing work permits in Kenya. Anyone who wants a work permit will have to apply for it from wherever they are, in their country, and they will only come here once they have been issued with a work permit,” he said.

“The six (foreigners) who were seen trading in Nairobi, by tomorrow they will be having supper in their country.”

Local traders in Nairobi’s Gikomba, Nyamakima and Kamukunji markets have been lamenting over the unfair competition posed by foreigners especially Chinese nationals who have set up shops in the areas.

The Chinese are said to be posing a threat to the Kenyan traders due to their financial advantage and ability to take strategic control of the importation of cheap second-hand goods from their country.

Considering the bulk of goods imported from China into Kenya, the Chinese nationals have taken control of both the wholesale and retail businesses brewing tension in the markets, as locals threaten to take matters into their own hands.

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