Activities at the Kiambu county headquarters were halted for hours when hundreds of traders stormed the same, seeking an audience with the governor.
The placards-waving traders from Ruiru sub-county vented their anger on governor Kimani Wamatangi, who was accused of failing to amicably resolve differences between two "warring" groups of traders over hustling spaces.
After demonstrating and blocking the county headquarters' main entrance for hours, Wamatangi agreed to give them his audience.
After listening to their grievances, it was agreed that traders displaying their products for sale in the streets should henceforth start operating from inside the newly built market.
In the past two weeks, the traders have been in a stalemate among themselves, where those selling their products from inside the market complained that their counterparts selling their products outside the market were advantaged.
They said they hardly got customers inside the market because they usually buy from those selling commodities outside the market.
Governor Kimani Wamatangi ordered his enforcement officers to ensure every trader is housed inside the market as his administration looked for better long-term solutions.
"I am not chasing anyone away, but we must find an amicable solution where every trader gets a space to sell their products inside the market," he said.
The traders' chairman Peter Waiganjo said, "Since the new market was completed and over 3000 allocated spaces inside the market, business was good, and no one was selling their products outside the market. However, during the August 2022 general elections campaign, some traders came out of the market and started selling their products from outside".
Waiganjo said that the traders who went outside the ultramodern market were not many and once ordered to return inside the market, fairness will prevail.
Wamatangi revealed that he has since engaged the national government, which has agreed to put up an additional market adjacent to the newly built market worth sh 350 million as there has been an influx of traders in Ruiru.
"We shall audit the market traders so that we ensure that every person gets a space and the national government has agreed to build an additional market to help solve the market crisis," Wamatangi said.
Peter Maina, a second-hand wares dealer, said they do not need another market in the area as the new one is not yet filled up.
"We do not need another market all we want is to have one market and not some who are inside and others are out in the streets," he said.
The traders said county government officials have contributed to the impasse by allowing those operating from outside to continue doing it illegally.
"The county officials have conspired with those outside the market, hence allowing them to sell their products in the streets illegally. This has made us to suffer since customers are not coming inside the market as before to buy," Mary Wambui, a fresh farm products dealer said.