A road agency has demolished stalls and billboards in Nyeri town in a dawn exercise on Thursday that caught many traders and companies unaware.
The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) descended on billboards and stalls built on road reserves to clear way for expansion of the Nyeri-Nairobi highway.
The traders said they had tried negotiating with the officials of the road authority for an extension arguing they have consistently paid the necessary dues to the county government.
But their pleas fell on deaf ears as their structures were felled before dawn.
“We had been told to move our stalls and they had been marked for demolition but they did not tell us when they will start pulling down the structures,” said Ms Miriam Wangechi, a trader.
The traders accused KeNHA of failing to give them enough time to move their property.
The trader further extended her disappointment to the county government for charging them levy only for their businesses to be demolished.
“I have paid Sh7, 000 to the county government for a license for this business but they took the fee without fail knowingly the building was on a road reserve ,” lamented Ms Wangechi.
The trader said she failed to move her goods from the kiosk because she did not have enough space that would accommodate her entire stock.
Commodities she trades in were strewn by the road as officers from the road authority embarked on the stalls.
Other traders affected include those selling second hand clothes and groceries.
However, infrastructure executive Muthui Kariuki said the county did not take part in the demolition neither did they authorize illegal construction of business premises by the road side.
“It is unfortunate because some of these people have never paid a cent to the county government and a majority of these structures are mounted at night,” he said on phone.
Companies that had advertised along the highway towed their structures using motorbikes and pick-ups to their respective premises.
Efforts to reach KeNHA Central regional manager Francis Kimata were futile as his phone was not going through.