August 12, 2022
Governor Samboja Bans Trading on Sunday, Ignites Protest

Frustrated traders moved to the Taita Taveta County Assembly to protest a directive by Governor Granton Samboja which banned business on Sundays on the grounds that it was prayer day.

They petitioned the MCAs to overturn the order which would affect their profits. 

“We have licenses for our closed business and some of us took loans that we are currently servicing. By closing our business the governor is killing us and the economy because we have to repay the loans and at the same time fend and educate our children,” the traders told journalists. 

Buyers and sellers pictured at Gikomba second-hand clothes market in Nairobi County on January 20, 2019.

Daily Nation

Chanzu Khamadi, MCA for Mata Ward, echoed their frustrations arguing the directive went against the law.

“It is wrong for the governor to go to Mgange Market on Sunday and block traders from selling their second-hand clothes.

“Why force people to go to Church,” questioned Khamadi, adding, “What the governor did is wrong and against the constitution. Why close business for people who are looking for money to pay fees for their children. What the governor did to the traders is wrong and liable to prosecution.”

Maganga Meshack Maghanga presiding over the Taita Taveta County Assembly on March 28, 2019.

Taita Taveta County Assembly

This follows the gazettement of new appointments to the Sub-county Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Committee on February 14, 2020.

The new directives elicited renewed anger among the locals. One proclamation by Samboja claimed that the number of entertainment hubs would be halved.

A second one changed the time of bar and pub closures from 11.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Operators in the liquor business have dismissed the directives as unworkable with one stating, “The governor’s new directive is retrogressive.”

“The stipulated time to close bars is 11 p.m. and not 9 p.m. as announced by the governor. We will challenge the governor’s directive in court,” he vowed. 

The petition by the traders has been committed to the trade committee by Speaker Maganga Meshack, where it will be determined.

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