Saturday, February 25, 2023 – Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Friday, February 24, sparked mixed reactions after he made public his intentions to lock out Chinese traders from the newly launched China Square Mall.
In a statement shared with the public, the CS demanded, in an offer directed toward Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Paul Wainaina, that the university buys out all spaces from the mall traders and reserves them for local traders.
The move, he noted, will inhibit the entry of Chinese traders to take up opportunities that would have otherwise been left for Kenyans.
Whilst maintaining that the government was ready to partner with foreign powers in spurring trade in Kenya, the CS insisted that the doors were open for Chinese manufacturers and not traders.
“I have today given an offer to Prof. Wainaina the VC Kenyatta University to buy out the lease for China Square, Unicity Mall, and hand it over to the Gikomba, Nyamakima, Muthurwa and Eastleigh Traders Association.
“We welcome Chinese investors to Kenya as manufacturers, not traders,” he noted in a statement.
Kuria’s announcement came days after a publicised online uproar with a section of Kenyans airing their reservations against what they termed as the take-over of local jobs by Chinese traders.
The Thika Road-based mall was a hive of activity as Kenyans flocked to its premises after the online buzz sparked across social media platforms.
China Square’s entry into the Unicity Mall, which is owned by Kenyatta University, came after a prolonged period of waiting for the mall to have a substantive tenant.
Despite being launched in 2016, the amenity struggled to thrive as an established shopping hub – a move that was attributed to the high number of shopping malls along Thika Road.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.