Moses Kuria Offers China Square Owner Lifeline After Controversy
Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Saturday, February 25, offered to help China Square owner after an earlier communication to cease operations in Kenya.
Through a statement, Kuria revealed that he would instead assist the China Square owner to set up a manufacturing plant in Kenya.
“I will assist China Square Owner Mr Cheng to set up a manufacturing plant in Kenya and work on a distribution partnership with Gikomba, Nyamakima, Eastleigh, Kamukunji, Muthurwa and River Road Traders,” he stated.
His retraction came on the backdrop of his order directing the Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Wainaina to buy out the lease for the retailer currently trading at Unicity Mall along Thika Road and hand it over to local traders.
A screenshot of a fight that ensued at a store in China Square (left) and the entrance to the shopping hub located at UniCity, along Thika Road.
“I have today given an offer to Prof Wainaina the VC Kenyatta University to buy out the lease for China Square, Unicity Mall and hand it over to the Gikomba, Nyamakima, Muthurwa l and Eastleigh Traders Association,” the CS stated.
In his order, Kuria communicated that Chinese investors should not trade in Kenya.
“We welcome Chinese investors to Kenya but as manufacturers, not traders,” he added.
The proprietor of the business in his response had indicated that they would shut down operations on February 26 to rethink their strategy.
“This decision has been made to allow us to re-evaluate and replan our company strategy, in order to better serve our customers and meet their needs,” China Square announced.
Initially, the Trade CS had blamed former Interior CS Fred Matiang’i for issuing the license for the mall.
“Dear Fred Okengo Matiangi. Why did you issue work permits to the Chinese traders at China Square at Unicity?” he remarked.
The mall opened its doors to Kenyans on January 29 and saw customers flock the retailer in large numbers.
According to most Kenyans on social media, China Square is currently the cheapest supermarket in the city.
The supermarket had attracted the masses because of the low prices of its goods and products.
It sells a wide range of products and services including stationery, electrical appliances, furniture, makeup and accessories, home decoration items, and cleaning supplies, among many others.
Photo collage of China Square, a shopping hub inside UniCity Mall, which is owned by Kenyatta University.