Tycoon using county officials to evict us, Garissa traders say

Monday December 24 2018

Garissa's Orahey open air market

Stalls at Garissa's Orahey open air market. A section of traders doing business here have accused some county government officials of colluding with a tycoon to evict them. But the county government says the traders are on a road reserve. PHOTO | ABDIMALIK HAJIR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ABDIMALIK HAJIR
By ABDIMALIK HAJIR
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A section of traders in Garissa County have accused some county government officials of colluding with a tycoon to remove them from their business premises.

This claim comes even as the county vowed to start enforcing an eviction notice.

The traders, who claimed that they are not on a road reserve, said they will seek legal redress since they were given licenses to do business at the same place by the defunct county council.

“We are fully aware that we are not on the road reserve because even this road was tarmacked while we were still doing our business here. We know county officials are being used by a tycoon to evict small traders,” said Abass Sheikh Adhan.

EVICTION NOTICE

He said that county officials have given them an eviction notice to give way for the upcoming Rhino shopping centre whose owners, he claimed, are tycoons who are using county officials to evict the small scale traders.

“We believe some officials are misusing Governor Ali Korane’s announcement to have some traders relocated to also issue eviction notices to others who are doing their business legally,” said another trader, Mr Farah Siyad.

Mr siyad said their businesses, which are majorly M-Pesa stalls, have been their source of income and insisted that they will not allow the county government to drive them out business.

OBSTRUCTIONS

Last month, the county government issued an eviction notice to traders asking them to remove what officials term as obstructions within 30 days failure to which the county will get rid of them at owners’ cost.

The letter was also copied to the county Roads and Transport executive, county secretary, Urban planning chief officer, chief magistrate, the OCPD and the Garissa Police Station OCS.

Reacting to the allegations by the traders, Roads and Transport Chief Officer Abdi Dekow denied that county officials are being used to evict small scale businesspeople, insisting that they will not relent in enforcing the eviction notice.

ROAD RESERVES

“It is a pure lie. What we are doing is to make sure all traders doing their business on road reserves are removed including those selling their wares in the open and also miraa venders,” he said.

He said they are not working under the influence of anyone but they are guided by principals, noting that this is in the best interest of Garissa residents.

Two months ago, Governor Korane announced plans to clear the sprawling Orahey market stalls and relocate traders to an alternative marketplace in bid to improve safety at the shopping centre.

The governor said the market is very congested and that traders have encroached on road reserves, hindering the free flow of traffic at the market.