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Tomato sellers hold demo in Meru after leaders is arrested

Monday July 13 2020
meru

Tomato traders operating at Gakoromone market in Meru town demonstrate outside Meru Police Station on July 13, 2020 demanding the release of their leader who had been arrested over what they claimed was business rivalry. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CHARLES WANYORO

Tens of tomato traders operating at Gakoromone market in Meru town Monday demonstrated outside Meru Police Station demanding the release of their leader who had been arrested over what they claimed was business rivalry.

The angry traders stormed the station seeking the release of Mr Sebastian Murithi, who had been accused by a rival group of seeking Sh50 to register members.

Police addressed them and asked them to leave as market officials were left in a closed-door meeting.

Unbowed, the traders moved to the adjacent street where they started singing songs in support of the leader, momentarily paralysing traffic flow along the busy Meru-Maua highway.

FREED WITHOUT CHARGE

Police later released Mr Murithi without any charges being preferred against him. On seeing their leader free, the traders broke into song and dance as they went back to work.

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The market’s fresh produce Chairman Julius Kirimi condemned the arrest, saying the contribution had been agreed upon by tomato traders.

He said the move was meant to register the genuine traders and issue them with cards to weed out idlers during the Covid-19 period and ensure the business is not invaded by cartels.

“We introduced the cards so that we could know how many members we have. Every section has members and their own mechanism of identification. I was shocked to see our colleague being arrested through false accusations,” said Mr Kirimi.

He hit out at former officials for seeking to create chaos at the largest fresh produce market in the Eastern region.

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