MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 21 – About 225 traders of the historical Mackinnon Market (Marikiti) in Mombasa county will receive Sh30,000 each to cushion them from the effects of Covid-19, Governor Hassan Joho said Tuesday.
The Marikiti market, which is divided into three sections of vegetables, meat and chicken traders, was closed on May 7, when President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed an order on cessation of movement on Old Town, following a spike in cases of COVID-19 in the area.
However, even after the order on cessation of movement was lifted on June 7, the county government of Mombasa did not reopen the market.
The traders lost hundreds of thousands in the last two and half months.
The Joho-led administration said it was still undertaking renovations of the market and access roads within the Old Town area. Mackinnon Market was built by the Colonial government in 1914.
Speaking during the reopening of the market on Tuesday, Joho said the county government will support the traders with Sh30,000 each to boost their business.
“We have seen that majority of the traders were affected by the closure of this market. The area MCA has asked for Sh10,000 for each trader, Mvita MP asked for Sh20,000. I’m directing the Trade department to make sure each trader gets Sh30,000 from the County Revolving Fund,” said Joho.
He said the 225 traders at the market will also not pay the monthly county charges of Sh1,500 from May to October this year.
He added that the traders will also not pay Sh4 million in arrear which accrued between 2013-2017.
According to the Mackinnon Market Stall Holders Association Chairperson Mohammed Ali, the traders were not paying the Sh1,500 monthly fees between 2013-2017.
“Towards the 2013 general election, politics came into play. We were asked not to pay the monthly charge, but when the county government came in, the monthly charge was enforced, but traders refused to pay,” said Ali.
However, the traders started paying when the arrears clocked over Sh4 million.
“We are glad that the county government has considered the small traders of Marikiti,” said Ali.