Police on Tuesday morning dispersed hundreds of traders from Nyamakima, Kamukunji and Dubois Lane in Nairobi who were holding protests against China Square, which had been selling various wares at a cheaper rate.

The irate traders from downtown Nairobi were demanding that the government protects their businesses from what they allege is an invasion by traders of Chinese descent.

The protests come two days after retailer China Square was forced to close shop following controversy generated by its popularity for selling merchandise from China at lower prices.

This comes a day before the traders who feel aggrieved by the Chinese are scheduled to meet Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua over the issues they are raising on their trade.

They are demanding to be left to control the wholesale and retail sectors despite Kenya being a liberalized economy with no price controls set on local and international investors.

The traders were, however, later dispersed by police using teargas after they took their protests to Harambee Avenue outside the offices of President William Ruto at Harambee House and that of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at Harambee House Annexe.   

On Monday, China Square owner Lei Cheng announced the indefinite closure of the retail shop to reevaluate his business model following a public spat with Trade CS Moses Kuria.

“The people who are fighting us feel threatened because Kenyans now know we exist and we are not exploiting them in pricing,” said Cheng in an interview with Nation.Africa.

Cheng said he followed all procedures outlined by the government to operate in Kenya and wondered why he was being targeted intimating his business was overrated by customers.