Garissa women traders decry police harassment

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Women traders in Garissa town on Tuesday took to the streets to protest against constant harassment by police.

They said their businesses are affected and demanded top county security officials be transferred, accusing them of using their juniors to harass them and demand bribes.

The protest attracted more than 200 cereal traders. They said it had become increasingly difficult for them to do business as the police keep impounding and destroying their consignments.

Last Wednesday, a multiagency team acting on intelligence intercepted a lorry carrying rice. The lorry had broken down at Modika, 10km from Garissa town.

The officers offloaded the consignment and set it on fire as the traders watched, ignoring their pleas to take the rice to a police station. The officers have not commented on the operation, something that has not gone down well with the traders.

Speaking to the press outside the police station, the traders said efforts to get a comment from the relevant security heads had not borne fruit.

Dahabo Abdi, one of the victims, said they had been to stay at home as everything they ordered was burnt.

“We are here to express our concerns about this matter that has caused us a lot of stress and given us sleepless nights. Our businesses are on the verge of collapse as most of us secured loans to expand our trade,” she said.

“What annoys us the most is the fact that our efforts to seek audience with the authorities have been unsuccessful. They are not willing to talk to us.”