Protests as foreign hawkers invade Kisumu
Cross borderJackson, a Congolese, says they buy shoes from Kampala, pack them in sacks and use a famous luxury bus company back to Kenya. He said together with his three friends, they bribe the bus driver with at least Sh2,000 to help them cross the border. On reaching Kisumu, they all settle in a single-roomed house to prepare to hawk their products in hotels, pubs and homes. They carry their products in big bags as they hawk them since they have no stalls. “We stay in Kenya for about three weeks and later return to Uganda for more products,” he says. Another Ugandan trader who declined to give his name says he makes huge profits on a good day. But Kisumu hawkers are now crying foul, saying the foreigners are pushing them out of business because they do not pay taxes. “Here, I pay the county municipal Sh30 every day for taxation. Besides this stall, I pay Sh2,000 rent every month and I must secure a business permit, and my family depends on me,” said Jared Otieno, a local shoe trader. Kevin Movine, the chairman for Fire Hawkers Association, a group of shoe traders in Kisumu, told The Standard the competition between the local and foreign traders was getting stiffer by the day.
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