Kenyan investor counts losses after xenophobic attacks in SA

By Vincent Kejitan | Thursday, Sep 5th 2019 at 14:44
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John Thumbi, a Kenyan investor who has been running a business in South Africa since 2006, is now counting losses after his retail clothing store was looted and burned down by rioters.

In a video seen by Ureport, Thumbi looks at what used to be his shop in disbelief and blames the South African government for not coming to the aid of businessmen.

“They have looted everything... This used to be my shop… It was around 8 o’clock last night when they came here and started looting,” he says.

Adding: “We did not see the government (of South Africa) coming to help us or telling us what we are going to do.”

Thumbi went ahead to state that the xenophobic attacks have greatly affected his family and asked for compensation.

“If they want us to go home, then they must tell us to go. They must give us what we came to invest here because we have invested a lot here,” he remarked.

Jean Kamau, the High Commissioner to South Africa, confirmed the attacks saying Kenyans in Gauteng Province have been physically assaulted and their businesses looted and burnt.

Gauteng province, which includes South Africa's largest city Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria has the highest rate of violence against foreign nationals.

“The Kenya High Commission has since reached out to the affected individuals and encouraged them to respond to the instructions and calls by the South African police to report and open files regarding all incidents,” the Pretoria-based embassy said in a statement.

The embassy called on Kenyans living in South Africa to work with local diaspora leaders to monitor the situation and take measures to safeguard their security.

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