Nakuru hawkers will for the first time participate in the county’s devolution programmes. The assembly passed the Nakuru County Trade Bill 2019 on December 4.
According to the Bill, hawkers’ associations will participate in the county public private sector consultative forum to be chaired by Governor Lee Kinyanjui.
Other members of the forum are county Trade minister, three members of the private sector from each of the 11 sub-counties who will be appointed by the Trade executive in consultation with the governor.
Other private sector stakeholders which will nominate at least a member in the forum include Nakuru Business Association (NBA), Nakuru Chamber of Commerce and Industry and any other association which the Trade executive deems fit to invite.
Nakuru County has an estimated 50,000 hawkers who are members of various associations. With each association affiliated to different political parties, picking hawkers’ representatives is expected to be a tough political chess game.
The chairperson of the Nakuru Street Traders and Hawkers Association Simon Sangale Ole Nasieku said the appointment of hawkers’ association to the county public-private sector forum will be a political tool to hoodwink hawkers to support the executive.
“The appointment of a member of a hawkers’ association to the forum is likely to be manipulated by the executive,” said Mr Nasieku.
He suggested that hawkers’ associations should be allowed to appoint their preferred representatives.
The county public-private sector forum shall be an avenue for consultation and dialogue between the county government and the private sector on matters affecting the private sector.
It will also provide the platform for the Trade executive to articulate the county agenda, policies and programmes being planned or implemented.
With the forum in place, the private sector will fully participate in the county's development programmes and on matters related to compliance with the county and national laws.
The Bill, which has been forwarded to Governor Kinyanjui for assent, will also establish business and industrial parks across the county.
The forum will also strive to develop and implement policies and programmes for the development of micro and medium enterprises in all sectors in liaison with the national government.
The Bill will encourage the establishment of Nakuru County Investment Board whose chairperson will be appointed by the governor.
However, the board’s chief executive officer will be competitively recruited by the County Public Service Board
The board will comprise member from Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Nakuru Business Association and Hawkers Association and Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The investment board will source for both international and local investors and to promote investment conferences and exhibitions.