Traders left counting losses as their structures are demolished

By: OLIVER MUSEMBI

Over 1000 traders operating on Thika road were on Saturday counting loses after their business structures were demolished on Friday night.

The traders who operate in Juja, Kenyatta Road, Kimbo and Ruiru woke up to find their premises reduced destroyed by the Kiambu County government.

Following the move, hundreds of the hawkers, boda boda operators and other small businesspersons held a demonstration and barricaded the Thika Superhighway as they engaged riot police in running battles for hours.

Operators said they were caught off guard by the move as they were not given a quit notice, but county officials claimed the demolition was ordered by the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha).

Local leaders led by Ruiru MP Esther Gathogo and Kenya Boda Boda Operator’s Association chairman George Koimburi and Gatong’ora ward MCA George Gitau condemned the action and termed it as act of economic sabotage.

Addressing journalists at the Ruiru DC’s office where they held a meeting with police and administration officials, Ms Gathogo said those behind the demolitions should be brought to book.

“It is sad that after empowering our youth through Uwezo Fund they have been rendered jobless. How are they expected to repay the loans,” the MP asked.

Mr Koimburi demanded that the traders be compensated by the county government for the losses incurred.

Mr Gitau said the move by the county government was “shameful as hired goons were used to destroy and loot property of hard working citizens.”

SOURCE: DAILY NATION