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Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has continued with his onslaught on China Square, which resumed operations on Monday after engagements between the Kenyan government and the Chinese community in Kenya.
Kuria described the Chinese-owned supermarket as a middle-class conspiracy that does not favor low-income earners, commonly referred to as Hustlers.
Appearing before National Assembly's Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Committee on Wednesday, Kuria denied allegations of frustrating Chinese investors, saying he is only trying to prevent the country from turning into a dumping ground for sub-standard goods.
"Yesterday, they counted 2000 vehicles. This is a middle class conspiracy and it has nothing to do with the hustlers who hold the bulk of the economy," said Kuria.
"I cannot frustrate investors but some people are dumping (fake products) on us."
Kuria further announced that plans are underway to establish a “Kenya Square” in a bid to support local traders.
"We have not forced anyone to close their business. But I maintain we should not discourage our traders. I have a duty to speak for the Nyamakima trader. The Middle class want to buy cheap. I continue supporting local manufacturing. We want to have our own Kenya Square," said Kuria.
Kuria was responding to members of the trade committee, who raised concerns about the long-term fate of China Square.
China Square, located at Unicity Mall on Thika Road, closed temporarily last week amid an uproar from local traders over low-priced goods.
The store opened on January 29th, offering a range of household items, from kitchenware to furniture and hardware. It quickly became popular but Kenyan traders claimed the retailer cut them out of the market by selling its goods at a deep discount.
Following the complaints, Kuria said he held talks with Kenyatta University, which owns Unicity Mall, about leasing the site to Kenyan small traders.
“We welcome Chinese investors to Kenya as manufacturers not traders,” Kuria wrote on Twitter.
China Square owner Lei Cheng defended his business, insisting it was legal and “centered on healthy competition.”
‘We have cooperated with all government directives for opening a business in Kenya and we are here to break the monopoly. The people who are fighting us feel threatened because Kenyans now know we exist and we are not exploiting them in pricing,” Cheng said.
Kuria is the most corrupt of all the CSs in the corrupt Ruto’s cabinet. We got thieves making deals at the expense of the hustlers to whom they lied to protect. Most of Ruto CSs have a stain in their records.
I believe that Kuria should be fired! He’s not up for the task! Politicizing commerce to discriminate on race or tribal interests in order to benefit cartels and a few corrupt politicians is not acceptable!!!!
Kuria thinks we go to China Sqr because we don't know where Nyamakima is?
The truth is coming out and they don't like it. These high prices are all designed to benefit the oligarchs in Kenya.
If China Square was a charity then it should have the necessary registration papers and authority to operate as such. Kurias assertion that China square does not benefit hustlers is a moot point.
Kuria is another baba yao. Pure and simple. Most of his utterances are of the beer joint type.
Do us a favor and keep your mouth shut.
This is coz of leaders disdain for electorate. Does any leader wake up thinking about how to move Kenya from poverty to first world or just filling their pockets and next election? China does 299-500 yr plans while Kenya is 5 yrs election cycle. Let's go for one election every 10 years so govt and leadership could settle and work for pp.
No one talks about the 2030 economic planning any more because black men think in reverse order like goats. These fools in Ruto government are quickly unraveling the good work done by Kibaki and Uhuru instead of trying to perfect it and build on it. So, all the money spent in the last two years is simply going to waste. There is no plan except to steal from our coffers.
How does this China Town not benefit the customers while the prices there are much cheaper than the prices in Nyamakima/Gikomba Markets?? Is Kuria smoking something funny??
You also don’t benefit hustlers at all. What have you done for Kenya since you became CS? How many hustlers have you employed? Your work is just globe trotting and forcing hustlers to swallow your rotten plan to sell GMO foods to them. You are the most useless CS Kenya will ever have. All you have is a loud mouth.