Business owners ask for police help against looters

An organisation of supermarket investors has called for assigning of police to retail businesses in the election period to prevent looting.

The Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak) said it is concerned about the increasing threats that continue to face traders.

“We call upon the security machinery to consider beefing up security for the players in the retail sector during this electoral season.

“We also call upon the political players across the divide to urge their supporters to maintain law and order at all times,” Mr Muchiri Wahome, the chairman, said in a statement sent to newsrooms on Saturday.

NASA PROTESTS

On Friday in Kisumu during the anti-IEBC demonstrations endorsed by the National Super Alliance (Nasa), Tumaini supermarket was broken into and goods stolen.

Mr Wahome condemned the action while praising the swift response by the police.

ECONOMY

President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance have repeatedly said the protests pushing for a reformed electoral agency are slowing down business and scaring away investors.

Kepsa chief executive officer Carole Kariuki said:

“As an alliance of private sector players, we are taken aback by these incidents.

“An attack on a small scale private sector player is an attack on a major player and deserves our condemnation in the strongest terms possible,” the statement to media on Saturday read.

VIOLENCE

Ms Kariuki urged leaders to resolve the election matter amicably to avert further losses.

Regarding the looting, ODM party executive director Oduor Ong’wen absolved Nasa supporters, blaming ‘enemies of development’.

“Such incidences are part of a broader scheme to delegitimise the ongoing demonstrations calling for electoral justice and are being authored and sponsored by those comfortable with the current status quo,” he said in a statement on Friday.

POLICE

Mr Ong’wen also hit out at the police.

“The deliberate and conspicuous absence of the police as this incident happened points to an unacceptable complicity and choreography for which the local police leadership must come out clean….

“We continue to urge our supporters not to engage in acts of violence in spite of extreme provocation,” Mr Ong’wen added.

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