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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 9 November 2014

LOOMING SHOWDOWN AS NAIVASH GOES TO KISUMU

Jared Opiyo

A business showdown is looming following the arrival of Naivas supermarket in Kisumu as leaders and locals form parallel vetting teams with an aim of waging a war should the outlet management fail to give job priority to the locals.
The leaders and locals have threatened to paralyse operations at the supermarket which opened its doors last Tuesday after investigations exposed that employees at the Kisumu branch were imported from other regions.
The imminent clash would be considered as a repeat of what befell Uchumi supermarket just few months ago when it extended its services to the town only to be met with a rude shock when leaders and locals staged a demonstration in protest of what they termed as unfairness in employment.
Uchumi supermarket allegedly employed workers from outside, a move that did not go down well with many shoppers and politicians.
Milimani Market ward rep Edwin Anayo said political leaders from the region have made a resolution to compel the management of the supermarket to ensure they employ area locals.
Anayo who had previously led youth in the town in protesting against Uchumi supermarket said there were qualified young people from the region and therefore the management had no reason of biased recruitment.
“Initially, we were in talks with the Naivas management but everything went silent just a few days before they opened, meaning there that there something fishy and for that, we have formed our own vetting team,” he said.
Kevin Ouma lamented over the lack of job opportunities even with his qualifications, saying it was unfair for qualified people to miss out on such opportunities.
Meanwhile, the opening of Naivas supermarket in Kisumu turned comical as curious shoppers tried to use escalators many for the first time.
There was laughter as the shoppers attempted to use the conveyor stairs, with some falling on the stairs. The retailer becomes the pioneer building in the lakeside town to boast of escalators.
Immediately after news of “rolling stairs” hit the streets, Kisumu residents from all walks of life thronged the new outlet on Jomo Kenyatta Avenue. The most adventurous group went ahead to get a feeling of the “moving stairs” while the skeptical lot only observed from a safe distance.
“I have come just to witness how people enjoy a ride on this thing. I cannot give it a try for fear I may fall down or the power might go off while I’m on it,” said Onyango Nyambok, a bodaboda rider in the town.
There was, however, a group of elite shoppers who instead took the opportunity to show off to their counterparts going by the ease and swag they were applying while enjoying the escalators. These shoppers got disapproving stares from other shoppers who were new to the moving stairs.
Naivas Supermarket’s marketing manager, Willy Kimani, has expressed optimism of remaining ahead of stiff competition.