, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) has opposed the refurbishment of the City Market terming it a national monument.
NMK says the market was gazetted as a National Museum through legal notice No. 37 of April 1, 2010 and therefore it is illegal to have any refurbishment done without its consent.
NMK wants the Director of Markets in the County of Nairobi to issue them with all the prerequisite information in their custody prior to approval of the same as required under the Heritage Act and rules before any refurbishment can be done.
On August 5, Justice John Mutungi issued a temporary order restraining Nairobi County authorities from entering the City Market property for purposes of undertaking the proposed roofing of open yards or any other construction on the suit premises or in any way interfering with the City Market Stall Holders Association.
This is after the association sued the Director of Markets in Nairobi City County, County Secretary, plus Quality and Style Limited challenging the refurbishment of the market.
The judge also issued orders stopping the County Government from putting up market stalls on sale or lease to persons other than the City Market traders and from dealing with property in any manner that will affect its nature as a municipal market and national monument.
The association argues it was not consulted or notified of the intended construction despite having the largest stake in the market.
“The proposed construction is unlawful, against public interest and will have negative ramifications to the already struggling tourism industry, including loss of revenue to the State and the County Government,” says the association.
The market traders engage in sale of perishable goods such as flowers, vegetables, fresh produce, meat, and fish, chicken which require free circulation of air at the market and are likely to be affected by the proposed roofing of the open yards at City Market.