As Kenyans marked Mashujaa Day in different parts of the country on Tuesday, traders in Kongowea market in Mombasa were busy reaping fully from the sale of second hand clothes, commonly known as the mitumba’s to customers who flocked the market.
At the Market, many customers were grumbling for clothes that were just opened from the new bails, “Achana na hii nguo mimi nimeshika wa kwanza,” meaning (this is my cloth I picked it first) , ‘’Hii ni yangu” (this is mine).
These endless arguments made Mr. Silah Kalama, a mitumba trader, to scream several times to his clients who had cushioned him in the middle of the mitumba bails.
“This is my job kindly do not struggle over my commodity because when it is damaged, you will all leave and I will be counting loss over damaged clothes. Please be patient lets all have equal share”. He said.
According to Mr. Kalama, Mashujaa day is just like any other day because he is optimistic that as traders they will not have a lion share on some of the issues raised in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mashujaa Day speech.
“Most of us have decided to work today rather than going to Mombasa Studium to listen to our leaders addressing us over this day, for the past two years I have been among patriots who congregate to commemorate National days, but I have never ever heard any leader who has addressed our issues as traders here in Kongowea. ” said Kalama
For traders, all is not well as they are lamenting over the high price of mitumba bail that ranges between Shs. 10,000 to Shs. 30,000 depending on the size one needs thus ranging from households, clothes, curtains, sheets among others.
Awino Okoth is a shopper who was found bargaining over a pair of shoes which was trading at Shs. 350, amount she says she could not afford, “Nothing is cheap here, everything is expensive for a common mwananchi like me. I believe that goods will be affordable if the price of bail is reduced.”