, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – Traders in the City Park market have urged the Nairobi County Government to expedite the reconstruction of their market which was burnt last week.
The traders are now operating within the parking lot, which has led to a major traffic snarl up affecting motorists using Limuru Road, as shoppers seek entry into the limited space.
Those who spoke to Capital FM News say their daily income has drastically reduced as they are only selling a few products while waiting for a share of the Sh5 million promised by the County Government.
“I used to make over Sh5000 on a day like this but things are bad now…we hope that the reconstruction can be fast so that we can resume to our normal lives,” Juliet Wangui a trader at the market said.
“We applaud the County Government for its support; we hope things will be good soon.”
The traders had on Friday staged a bitter protest demanding for compensation while alleging that the mysterious fire was caused by people who want to grab the market land.
“It was painful to have all your investment gone to the drain…I lost over Sh200,000” a mother of three speaking on condition of anonymity stated. “I am the sole provider of my family.”
During the protest, the traders were irritated by what they termed as a, “scheme to gradually evict them from their market which we have operated on for more than 10 years.”
As a way of displaying their anger, the more than 3,000 traders had barricaded Limuru Road and not even tear gas from the police or the gunshots fired in the air would move them.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero who received a cold reception during the protest has since stated that, “It is unfortunate that a company associated with one of the politicians who organised goons to heckle and ridicule me when I visited affected traders had shamelessly grabbed 13 acres of the initial 20 acres of market land.”
He said he had cancelled all the title deeds awarded and ordered the land reverted back to the ownership of the traders.
“I have also instructed the City Park market traders not to pay any taxes until operations are back to normal,” he said.
The County Government has set aside Sh25 million towards the rebuilding and redevelopment of the market with the initial Sh5m having been released from the county’s emergency fund to compensate the affected traders.
“Let us be on the lookout for these breed of greedy and selfish politicians who just want to enrich themselves at the expense of hard working and honest Nairobians and make Nairobi City the place to be,” the Governor appealed.