A move by Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o to fence the famous Kibuye Market in Kisumu town has annoyed traders operating there.
The county government began fencing the 12-acre market last Friday as it embarks on building modern markets to improve revenue collection.
But some traders have protested the move, accusing the Prof Nyong’o of taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to evict them.
“We knew there was a sinister motive behind our eviction. They threw us out yet without giving us an alternative site. We are not sure whether we will be allowed back,” lamented Ms Mary Auma, a vegetable seller.
A few weeks ago, traders and carpenters engaged police in running battles after they were barred from entering the market.
But Governor Nyong’o has asked those with businesses there to wait until the modern market is built.
“We want the market to be better, with the required facilities,” Prof Nyong’o said.
“There are cartels who don't want us to fence the market because of their selfishness, but we will proceed,” City Manager Doris Ombara said yesterday. She added that the fencing would create order, improve access to the market and increase revenue.
“Kibuye will be a modern market where we will be able to control genuine traders and easily raise revenue. At the moment, the market does not have clear boundaries,” she said.
A three- storey building will be up to house the traders, a small health facility and other amenities. Sections will be created for the different commodities.
The Sh35 million project is being done by the National Youth Service. However, Ms Ombara is still talking to development partners,including the African Development Bank, about funding.
“Lack of clear boundaries and ownership of the parcel of land has delayed the modernisation of the market because these are among the t requirements donors want to be clear about,” Ms Ombara said.
Some of the traders evicted from Kibuye have been taken to Moi Stadium, while others were moved to other markets in the county.
Another 740 are to be accommodated at the new Sh37 million “Çhichwa” market, which stalls, open spaces, and modern toilets.