Gikomba Traders In Court Demanding Billions Over Perennial Fires

A file image of city hall
  • Gikomba traders have sued the Nairobi County Government over frequent fires that have destroyed property worth billions over the years.

    The 900 traders are demanding a compensation of Ksh20 billion from the county government for the sustained fires.

    The business operators argue that the city authorities failed to put up adequate measures in place to curb the fire menace. 

    They further told the court that the compensation would be used in rebuilding their business establishments.

    A file image of city hall

    Gikomba market, known for the mitumba clothes business, has experienced over 15 fire incidents since 2015.

    In the lawsuit filed at the High Court, the traders state that the county government has neglected the market despite the traders paying taxes through levies and business permits.

    The traders are also asking the court to compel the county government to establish a fire station at the market within 60 days.

    They state that having a fire station in the market will enable the county government to respond to the frequent fires on time.

    Adrian Kamotho, the traders’ lawyer, indicated that the actions of the county government amount to negligence.

    “The Plaintiffs are at a loss as to why the Defendant would act so negligently, in breach of contractual and legal duty,†Kamotho stated.

     This lawsuit comes after a fire razed down major businesses in the market along Molo Line area, also known as Ghorofani, on August 7.  

    While addressing the press after the fire incident, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho stated that the government would install CCTV cameras in the market to help curb the rising incidents of fire.

    “The President has sent us to offer his sympathies and to reiterate his pledge that he will do something to ensure Gikomba traders have a decent and secure environment to conduct their businesses without these frequent fires. We will not tire from seeking a permanent solution to these fires,†the PS stated.

    Interior PS Karanja Kibicho donating desks to St Peter's Secondary Gathuthiini students on February 27, 2021
    Interior PS Karanja Kibicho donating desks to St Peter’s Secondary Gathuthiini students on February 27, 2021