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Traders and residents of Thika's Makongeni Estate Sunday morning woke up to a rude shock when they were greeted by huge flames of fire consuming their market. Millions of foodstuffs and other wares were destroyed by the fire allegedly started by the County Government of Kiambu.
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According to eyewitness' accounts, the arsonists are said to have been ferried to Madaraka Market via the county government's trucks that had their identity hidden using mud and polythene paper. The more than 100 youths alighted at National Oil Petrol Station near Posta at around 1:00am, armed with iron metal bars and other crude weapons. Some are said to also carry jerrycans full of petrol.

After strategically positioning themselves around the market, they violently evicted the watchmen and those who usually slept within their target area just to ensure that the operation avoided any eventuality of casualties. They then strategically sprinkled petrol in spots they knew that the fire would spread rapidly and occasion maximum damage.

All this while, a contingent of county government askaris, Administration and regular police who had been ferried in several police land cruisers, kept vigil at a distance and made sure everyone else was kept at bay.

 Meanwhile, the county government fire-fighting engines were kept standby in case the fire spread to the unintended targets. Funny enough, it seemed that KPLC had prior info since the electric lines along the market's perimeter walls had been disconnected from electricity well before the market had been torched.

Within a fraction of a second, the whole market was in flames. Those traders who dared to come near the market were repulsed, harassed and at times beaten up by the hired goons as the police watched. When situations called for reinforcement, the police came in handy by throwing teargas canisters at the traders thus dispersing them. This was meant to ensure that the fire was too huge for anyone to contain it.

It was also alleged that anyone who was caught taking videos or photos of whatever was transpiring had their phones confiscated and thrown into the fire to 'kill' all available evidence.

When they schemers were sure that noone could contain the flames, they hurriedly evacuated their subjects  at around 4:00am this morning using the same garbage truck they came in. The police are said to have followed the contingent just in case the angry wananchi  managed to catch up with them.

By six this morning, the fire was still enormous. Those of us who braved the heat of the flames had to withstand the choking fumes that were emanating from the burning cereals and timber. They had formed a huge dark cloud of smoke, making it almost impossible to breath.We came across majority of these traders trying to salvage what they could but it was too little too late. The loss incurred was in its millions, not forgetting all the people who solely depended on it for livelihood.

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