The parliament has been petitioned by Small-Scale Traders hailing from Kamukunji, Eastleigh, Luthuli Avenue, and Gikomba in Nairobi County, who have taken a strong stance against the increasing influx of Chinese nationals investing in Kenya.

Concerned about the repercussions this trend holds for their businesses and the livelihoods of millions, they have presented a formal petition to the parliament, urging lawmakers to amend existing laws to regulate Chinese investments within the country.

Led by the Association of Small-Scale Traders, the petitioners have spotlighted the detrimental impact that the unchecked surge of Chinese investors poses to their operations and the livelihoods of an estimated two million Kenyans and six million dependents.

These traders have voiced their apprehensions to the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, chaired by Embakasi North MP James Gakuya.

In their submission, the traders pointed out a crucial aspect that they believe needs rectification – the Investment Promotion Act.

They have called upon parliament to enact amendments that would introduce stringent conditions for foreign investors seeking to operate in Kenya.

The suggested conditions include a minimum investment of Sh500 million in capital, the creation of at least 100 job opportunities for Kenyan citizens, and an annual contribution of Sh50 million to tax or government revenues.

Kimani Ng’ang’a, the chairman of the Association of Small-Scale Traders, emphasized the importance of enforcing these regulations.

"The Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) should strictly enforce the Investment Promotion Act to ensure that investment certificates are issued to the right investors whose investments are beneficial to Kenya and not detrimental to the business and trade interests of Kenyan citizens," Ng'an'ga stated.

The traders also emphasized their plea for constitutional safeguarding.

Ng’ang’a highlighted the significance of amending laws in harmony with Articles 12, 21, and 43 of the Kenyan constitution, aimed at securing economic and social rights, business interests, and property ownership for Kenyan citizens.

He warned against a recurrence of historical subordination, cautioning against a scenario where "Kenyans might once again become servants and errand boys of foreigners like it was during the colonial times."

Among their grievances, the traders directed their concerns towards China Square Mall, asserting that the activities of this mall have put their businesses at risk.

The petitioners argued that China Square Mall's commercial activities favor Chinese traders, jeopardizing the livelihoods of local traders and their families.

They also accused the Investment Promotion Authority of facilitating the issuance of investment certificates to Chinese traders, contrary to the conditions outlined in the IPA Act.

This latest petition follows an earlier demonstration held by the traders earlier this year, protesting the opening of China Square Store near Kenyatta University.

The demonstrators cited the store's aggressive pricing strategies as undermining their own businesses.

As the petition takes center stage in the halls of parliament, the fate of Chinese investments in Kenya hangs in the balance, while the livelihoods of millions of Kenyans and their dependents are poised for potential transformation.