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Government assures City hawkers of transparency in market space allocation

The  Nairobi Regional Commissioner (RC), Wilson Njega has pledged there will be transparency in the allocation of market stalls for small scale traders in Nairobi.

Njega said the government had embarked on constructing and rehabilitating markets in various parts of the city to enable traders operate their businesses in a conducive environment.

The  RC said so far three markets namely Mwariro in Starehe Constituency constructed at a cost of sh. 389.5 million, Karandini in Dagoretti South (sh. 294.3 million) and Westlands market (sh. 214 million) are already complete and a multiagency committee chaired by the Nairobi County Commissioner (CC) will spearhead the allocation of the stalls, including Gikomba market in Kamukunji  which is expected to be complete in three months’ time.

Briefing the press  on Monday at his Nyayo House office while flanked with the Nairobi CC, Flora Mworoa, the Regional Commissioner cautioned individuals who are collecting money from unsuspecting traders purporting to allocate them stalls at the four markets to stop, warning that those who will be caught the law will be applied firmly regardless of status.

“The allocation of stalls should not be politicized, last week on June 26, some members of the public and rowdy youth had a confrontation with the police, as they were purporting to take over the Mwariro market,” said Njega.

He said all projects undertaken by the national government have a framework for allocating space, noting that traders who will be given first priority are those who were operating their businesses where the markets have been constructed while the additional spaces will be awarded by the committees through the laid down procedures.

“The spaces are not many, therefore those interested will make application of which we will use the best practices of public balloting, where I will oversee the process,” said Njega.

He added that the committee will give 70 percent of the spaces to the local residents of the area where the market is situated while 30 percent will go to Nairobians from other areas in the city.

The  RC said Gikomba market which is being constructed at a cost of Sh. 493 million and known for frequent outbreak of fires will be fenced and mounted with CCTV cameras for security purposes.

“Before traders reconstruct their stalls at the Gikomba market the Nairobi Metropolitan Service  will clear the passage ways and access roads, as well as sink a borehole.

He  said the government sunday started giving the 2,200 traders from Gikomba market Sh. 10,000 whose goods were razed down last week by fire to restart their businesses.

In  his remarks, Eng. Benjamin Njenga, the Secretary Directorate of Urban and Metropolitan Development from the State Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the department was liaising with the Nairobi Metropolitan Service to map out the markets that should be rehabilitated.

By  Bernadette Khaduli

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