‘Private developers behind Gikomba fires,’ PS Kibicho says gov’t to unmask them


'Private developers behind Gikomba fires,' PS Kibicho says gov't to unmask them
Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and NMS Director Maj-Gen Mohamed Badi visit the Gikomba market on June 25, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

Interior Principal Secretary Dr. Karanja Kibicho says the government has began investigations to identify individuals believed to be behind the recurrent burning down of property at the Gikomba market.

Speaking on Thursday after another inferno razed down goods of known value at the expansive market area, Dr. Kibicho said there are private individuals seeking to grab the public land for private use.

The PS said the government believes the fires are not natural, adding that a desk has been set up at the fifth floor of Nyayo House to probe all information and leads that could unmask the cartels that have continued to bring untold pain and suffering to innocent Gikomba traders.

“We in government do not believe these fires are natural. We believe that there are some people who think that by displacing the business people here they will have an opportunity to develop this land on selfish grounds,” said Kibicho, when he toured the area.

“We hear that some people had made social media posts predicting that this fire would occur. We have opened a desk at Nyayo House, 5th floor. All this information including the intelligence we have received from business people here will not be in vain. I know such promises have been made before but we want you to test us this time round.”

Kibicho further stated that the government is planning on relocating traders to other markets set to be build within Nairobi.

“Unfortunately there are people who believe that when the business people using this space are evacuated that they will have an opportunity to use this land for private use. Gikomba is public land and it shall be used for public purposes even after we relocate the traders who are to here to the markets we are building,” said the PS.

He further promised that the government would compensate households affected by the Gikomba Market fire, adding that plans are underway to beef up security in the area.

“We are aware there are people who live here and we can see the extent of damage that has been caused to the residential spaces here and with the leadership we are going to see what alternatives we are going to provide so that we don’t have people without a place to spend the night,” said Kibicho.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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