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Kenyan Hawkers In Eastleigh Decry Discrimination By Somali Community

Eastleigh, Nairobi

Eastleigh, Nairobi

Tensions are running high in Eastleigh, Nairobi as Kenyan hawkers are claiming harassment from the Somali business community.

Known as “Small-Mogadishu,” Eastleigh is home to one of the largest Somali cities outside of Somalia itself.

With a population of approximately 100,000, it is also the second-largest contiguous Somali community in the world.

However, the coexistence of Kenyan and Somali traders is proving to be a challenge.

The hawkers claim that they are being harassed and intimidated by the Somalis, who have allegedly paid off local government officials to frustrate their businesses.

“We are opening work at 6 pm, the reason being, the Somali business community has given county government money to frustrate us,” said one hawker, who spoke to us on Thursday.

“The MCA Eastleigh North is collaborating with them. How can these Somalis come to invest in our country yet there are making life difficult for us?”

The situation in Eastleigh is complicated by the fact that many of the Somali businesses in the area operate in a gray area of the law.

Some are registered as Kenyan companies, while others are not. This has led to allegations of tax evasion and other financial improprieties.

“The Somalis have been here for a long time, and they have contributed a lot to the local economy,” said one resident. “They are our neighbours, and we should be working together to make this a better place for everyone.”

As the authorities investigate these allegations of harassment and intimidation, it remains to be seen how the situation in Eastleigh will develop.

For now, it is clear that something needs to be done to address these issues if peace and stability are to be restored to this vibrant neighbourhood.

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