, KIAMBU, Kenya, Jan 19 – The Kiambu County Government and traders at the Madaraka Market in Thika have reached an agreement that will see the traders pay Sh20 on non-market days and Sh30 during market days.
This, according to the county government, will see harmony and sanity return to the busy market that supplies food to the North and Eastern Provinces of Kenya.
This follows a meeting between the county government and market officials on how the market will be run.
According to the County Secretary Fredrick Kitema, the market has for a long time fallen to the hands of cartels who collect money in place of the county, making delivery of services difficult.
“The market has for a long time been invaded by cartels and criminal gangs who have been charging and letting out stalls. The gang has become such a threat that the county enforcement and public health officials could not access the market to render services,” said Kitema.
The market, Kitema said, was dilapidated and it has proved hard for the county to gain entry even for public health officers and garbage collectors.
“During a routine operation in the market to enforce the law, the armed cartels and gangs turned violent and this necessitated the police back up,” he added.
The Secretary was backed by the Chief Officer of Public service Dominic Gicheru who said that the new levies were provided for in the new 2014 Finance Act that went through thorough public participation scrutiny.