Nairobi Senator Johnstone Sakaja wants Uasin Gishu, Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa counties to revoke the business licenses issued to foreigners who are doing illegal trade.Sakaja says that they are investors according to their work permits and should not be allowed to engage in some kinds of businesses.
Sakaja said that he has uncovered a cartel operating godowns in industrial areas which they are not allowed to.
He lauded the Department of Immigration for ordering the deportation of six Chinese traders who were found trading in Gikomba Open Air Market but insisted that the government must act fast to protect local small and medium sized enterprises and not roll out the red carpet for foreigners at the expense of Kenyans.
Sakaja has further called on the County Governments of Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru to revoke business permits issued to the foreigners.
“We have unearthed a cartel, we know there are quite a number of them; they have set up go-downs in the industrial areas and various parts of the city where they are importing goods and are trading yet their work permits don’t allow them to do that, I have spoken to the Department of Immigration and we have list of who they are and where they are stationed.”
He added: “Many of them come in under the pretext of engaging in financial services and consultancy, then immediately they go and set up shop in Luthuli, Nyamakima and Gikomba, which we cannot allow.”
Kenyans have recently expressed outrage over reports of an influx of foreign nationals hawking second-hand clothes in various markets.
Small scale businesses in downtown Nairobi have also decried stiff competition in retail businesses located in Gikomba, Kamukunji and Nyamakima markets, which are key entry points for second-hand clothes and cheap Chinese electronic and kitchenware imports.
The Chinese in Gikomba employ foreign staff to carry out tasks like recording sales while hiring Kenyans to ferry goods using carts sourced from China and stored in go-downs located in Industrial Area and along Mombasa Road.