One person was killed and seven left nursing serious injuries, after traders at Uhuru Market in Narok Town Sunday protested the move by Narok County Government to demolish hundreds of stalls at the market.
In a suspected retaliation over the matter, the enraged traders from the native Maasai community took the law into their own hands, razing down neighbouring Muthurwa Market, leaving a trail of losses worth millions of shillings.
According to Joseph Kinyanji who is one of the traders at the burnt fresh produce market, a group of armed Maasai invaded the market and set it ablaze with all the property in their stalls.
He said in self-defense, the affected traders are suspected to have fought back with pangas, hacking the arsonists and when the police tried to intervene one of them was attacked in the process.
We were going on with our businesses when we saw a billow of smoke.We rushed and found a group of men who chased us away. We are innocent business people and we wonder how we are involved in the demolition at the neighbouring market,said Kinyanjui.
The traders have however asked the government to take a swift action to resolve the matter before it gets out of hand.
Those injured have since been taken to Narok County Referral Hospital, where they are admitted in critical condition while the body of the deceased is lying at the facility’s mortuary.
Earlier in the morning, a group of Maasai traders held demonstrations over the night destruction of their stalls despite them being given approval by the same County government.
We had been given a go-ahead to construct stalls here and do our businesses after we were stopped from selling charcoal in town. There were about eight Members of the County Assembly and County Executive Member in-charge of Lands, Julius Sasai who allowed us to build. We are now shocked that they are turning against us, said a trader at the market.
The aggrieved traders have however launched an appeal to the government to rethink on their action, saying they have incurred heavy losses as a result of the demolitions.
Source: Kenya News Agency