Eldoret businesses remain closed as hawkers, county askaris battle in CBD

Screenshot of the goons looting from a superrmarket.

Businesses were for the better part of today disrupted in Eldoret town after hawkers and street families engaged the police in running battles.

For fear of looting and destruction of property, traders shut down their business premises in the town's Central Business District following the battles reportedly sparked off by clashes between hawkers and Uasin Gishu County enforcement officers.

Chaos between the two groups started at 10am, forcing police to lob tear gas canisters to disperse the charged crowds.

A spot check by The Standard revealed that as at 4pm, majority of the businesses had not opened as goons took advantage of the situation and went on a looting spree in several shops and a supermarket.

CCTV footage showed unidentified men stealing from Eldomat supermarket located next to Kenya Power Office about 70 metres away from Eldoret Central Police Station as the situation turned into lawlessness.

Evan Too, a trader in CBD said trouble ensued when a team of county askaris stopped traders selling fruits on trolleys.

He said moments later, police were called to quell the tensions, but hawkers sought help from street families in chasing away the police and county askaris.

"I have closed my business for several hours now after the clash between hawkers and street families and the police held the town hostage. It is a bad day, we are counting losses," he said.

He said it was unfortunate goons had taken advantage of the situation to break into several shops where they looted valuable items.