Kisumu traders count losses as county bulldozers flatten stalls

Saturday December 16 2017

Kisumu stalls

A group of traders in Kisumu are counting losses estimated at Sh3 million after their stalls and shops were demolished on December 16, 2017. A county official said the traders had been given notice to move. PHOTO | VICTOR OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VICTOR OTIENO
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A group of traders in Kisumu are counting losses after their stalls and shops were demolished Saturday morning.

The more than 30 stalls, which were constructed next to Kisumu Sub-County Hospital along Angawa Avenue and in Dunga, were brought down in the wee hours on Saturday by county government bulldozers under the watch of police officers.

The stalls housed are M-Pesa shops, food joints and bookshops.

Kisumu County Micro and Small Enterprises Association Chairman Antony Kwache, speaking on behalf of the affected traders, accused the county government of demolishing their property without giving a notice.

SH3 MILLION LOSS

They estimated their loss to about Sh3 million and demanded an explanation from the county government over the “illegal move”.

“It is very sad when you leave your business in good shape and the next day you find your work place [flattened]. There is no notification that the traders received. Yesterday (Friday) the traders even paid their daily taxes to the county government," said Mr Kwache.

He went on, "In his manifesto, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o promised he will promote the sector and destroying traders’ property is contrary to his assurance.”

However, Kisumu City Manager Doris Ombara rubbished the traders’ claims saying they were aware of the looming demolition as they were served with the order three months ago and that her office had a court order to carry on with the demolition.

PEDESTRIAN PATHS

She said that the stalls were demolished because they were built on pedestrian paths and were also blocking the vision of the hospital and hindering free movement.

"Their claims are untrue because we served them with the order more than three months ago and even placed the X mark on the stalls. What do you expect if you block the view of the hospital and build on pedestrian paths?” asked Ms Ombara.

She vowed to demolish all buildings that have been constructed on illegal land and warned the traders against being tricked by politicians to break the law.

"This is just the tip on the ice bag. I am coming for them. We will demolish every structure that is at a wrong place…let them not be deceived by politicians to breach the law,” said Ms Ombara.