The Uasin Gishu County government has vowed not to relent in its efforts to evict all hawkers from Eldoret town’s central business district despite a public outcry.
Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno Monday maintained that the county was keen on restoring order in the town.
“These hawkers operate outside other traders’ premises, who pay rent. The hawkers prevent buyers from accessing the premises, resulting to low returns,” he said.
Mr Chemno observed that though markets have been constructed to accommodate traders in the county, hawkers have continued to violate the law by selling their wares in the streets.
“We have the Sh100 million hawker’s wholesale market which is complete. We also have the Sh150 million Kahoya market which was opened in 2012,” said Mr Chemno.
“We want to ask the traders to relocate to these markets and operate from there,” he added.
However, the hawkers have complained that the wholesale market cannot accommodate more than 6,000 of their members.
Uasin Gishu County Hawkers Chairman David Mburu said the new market has only 311 stalls.
“Many hawkers are not comfortable using the main market since it’s far from their customers,” he added.
He said the eviction of hawkers from the streets has rendered many people jobless, adding that the move might trigger criminal activities.
But the deputy governor said the county government has done a lot to improve the welfare of the hawkers, saying it has given them loans amounting to Sh6 million.
He said the county has the infrastructure to support the relocation of hawkers to the Eldoret West Market as it plans to put up another major market in Kimumu to decongest the town.
“In 2016, the World Bank ranked us as the most favourable investment destination, and thus we are keen to ensure that we remain the best choice for investors by restoring order in the town,” he said.
Last month, the county government was on the spot after two videos emerged online showing inspectorate officers beating hawkers.