Garissa leaders call for thorough investigations into the market fire

A Section of Garissa Political leaders have called for thorough investigations into the cause of Thursday’s early morning fire that destroyed Garissa open market known as “Suuq Muqqdi’.

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale alleged that the inferno was planned and called for thorough investigation to nail the perpetrators.

Addressing the press at his residence a day after the fire, Duale said that the fire incident was planned, pointing an accusing finger at individuals who have always wanted to grab the land saying that the fire was not a coincidence.

The market houses vegetable vendors, groceries, clothing shops, food kiosks, tailoring shops, wholesales and electronic shops

“I have spoken to the DCI George Kinoti and the security agencies that they must bring to book the perpetrators of this fire incident in Garissa market. It is not a coincidence, it is well planned,” said Duale.

“I challenge the National Security apparatus and the County Government of Garissa to act swiftly and find the root cause of the fires. Serious investigations should be done and the perpetrators brought to book and serve justice to the helpless traders whose only crime is fending for their families,” Duale said.

“We know that over the years there have been many people who have wanted to grab and privatize this market, but I have remained steadfast in protecting our innocent traders from these greedy individuals,” he added.

On Thursday Garissa OCPD James Ngetich said that they were interrogating the watchmen guarding the market as well as officials from the Kenya power in a bid to establish what transpired.

While there are those who claim the fire ignited from one of the shops following an electric fault, others claim that it was started.

However, Garissa county governor Ali Korane cautioned leaders against politicizing the issue to gain ‘political mileage’ from the losses of the victims of the fire.

While addressing the Market Committee and the traders who lost their goods, Korane said it was unfortunate and inhuman for anybody to make a political kill out of the crisis.

He said it was sad that fire had been frequently affecting the market owners and promised to find a lasting solution to the problem.

“Some leaders had the opportunity to serve during their time and make the situation of the market better but now they are giving wild tales to the grieving victims,” said the Governor.

The Governor said it was paramount to have a well-planned market with access roads to help respond to any emergency.

He asked the committee to assess the damage and numbers of the affected stall owners and brief him ahead of his expected visit to the market.

The Governor assured them that nobody can dare take the market land that serves 1400 traders in Garissa where they derive their livelihood from.

Perennial market fires have been among the major challenges the traders face. For the past decade, more than fifteen such incidents have been reported.

Most of the traders who spoke to the press questioned the timing of the fire which only happened two month to election.

The same market was razed down a day after the 2017 general election following the announcement of the governorship results.



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