More than 250 traders at Alibaba Shopping Mall in Mtwapa, Kilifi County, are in shock after goons demolished their structures and destroyed goods worth millions of shillings.
The traders want county officials to help them put up new stalls.
They held peaceful demonstrations on Tuesday to protest the destruction of their merchandise, including cereals, vegetables and eggs, by a bulldozer that flattened their shops.
The shops were levelled barely three months after the traders relocated from the Mombasa-Malindi highway to the mall.
“This destruction happened under unclear circumstances as we had not received any eviction notice or court orders to vacate the premises,” said Margaret Wanjiru.
“Business had been booming since we relocated but we are now suffering. We want to know who ordered the demolition and we are urging Governor Amason Kingi to build us new structures.”
Ms Wanjiru said the traders had suffered for years selling their goods on the side of the highway.
A majority of them had taken loans to relocate to the mall to boost their businesses, she said.
“But now it's tears and pain as everything was destroyed and buried in the rubble. We pleaded with the goons to allow us to salvage our goods, but they refused,” she added.
Desperate and confused, Everlyne Karembo could not hold back her tears as she collected rice mixed with sand from her rumbled stall. She said traders had lost goods worth millions of shillings.
Musa Masantu, a guard, said the goons tore down the stalls using a bulldozer at midnight.