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Charcoal traders resist eviction from buffer zone

Charcoal traders plying the trade along Busia buffer zone have vowed to stay put and continue with their business in defiance of a directive to vacate issued by the County Commissioner (CC).

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Geofrey  Wasila, one of the traders said the business has employed a number of youth who were formerly engaging in criminal activities.

“This business has created job opportunities for many youth,” said Wasila, urging the government to provide them with an alternative place.

He  said the government should provide employment opportunities to the youth before doing away with their business.

The  angry businessmen criticized the CC for coming up with such a decision, arguing that they had cleared the site that was previously a bush.

“The  County Commissioner said that this parcel belongs to him,” said one of the traders demanding to know when the parcel was sold”, they protested.

Joram  Onyabura, another trader said that they had peacefully carried out their business within the buffer zone during the tenure of the former county commissioner, arguing that change of regime is affecting them negatively.

“We are appealing to the government to allow us to continue with our businesses because charcoal trade has helped in reducing crime rates.

The  Busia Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Joseph Onyango insisted that the traders have to vacate the place adding that their leaders had been informed last week.

During the joint cross border meeting, the  Busia CC, Jacob Narengo advised all cross border traders to utilise the One Stop Border Post.

Narengo stated that use of the porous border was not only denying both Kenya and Uganda revenue but also posed security threats to the two countries.

He said that the traders should vacate the place on Tuesday (today) failing which they will be evicted forcefully.

By  Salome  Alwanda

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