Youth halt work at Kitengela Bus Park demanding 'protection fees'

Tuesday December 26 2017

Kitengela Bus Park

Work in progress at the Kitengela Bus Park before it was halted by hired youth. PHOTO | JOSEPH NGUNJIRI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By JOSEPH NGUNJIRI
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Trouble is brewing at the Kitengela Bus Park after hired youth blocked the beautification of the park when they allegedly failed to get protection fees.

The county government project that was meant to revamp the bus park was indefinitely stopped on December 22, by the group of young allegedly demanding an unspecified amount of money before workers of Leacom Ltd, an outdoor advertising company could continue roofing the nine sheds at the bus park.

According to a youth leader, a company associated with an ODM politician had sought partnership with the County Government to beautify the bus park during former regime of Governor David Nkedianye.

Official documents show Leacom partnered with the county government and paid the requisite fees to the county 's Revenue account in April.

TUG-OF-WAR

In another letter on January 16, 2016, Southern Connection Ltd, through the politician, showed they had expressed an interest to be appointed the "sole agents for marketing of the bus park for five years" but the fate of this request had not gotten a response from the county government.

On Tuesday, an official of Southern Connection Ltd who requested anonymity said," We must get a share of the bus park. We applied for the partnership. We shall not cede ground."

However, Nation learnt that there is a tug-of-war between county officials of the former regime who are keen to regain control of the bus park, expected to attract millions of shillings in annual revenues from advertisers.

Officials directly linked to the bus park partnership led by former Director of Revenue Jonathan Turere have since been suspended by Governor Joseph Ole Lenku.

None of the Leacom Ltd officials was available for comment.

However, County documents show Treasury had received all the fees related to the bus park advertising amounting to Sh 294,000 paid in April last year.