Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has cautioned unscrupulous brokers who irregularly acquired business stalls at the newly built markets and then lease them to unsuspecting traders at an exorbitant fee.
Prof Nyong’o expressed dissatisfaction with the cartels who are deeply rooted in the county saying they have undermined his efforts to offer the street hawkers decent places to conduct their businesses.
The County boss further lamented that some informal traders who genuinely deserve slots at the new markets have been forced to move back to the street pavements to sell their products.
He accused the cartels of infiltrating the government’s elaborate strategies meant to distribute the new market stalls in a fair and transparent manner to genuine traders.
“I took the mantle of leadership in 2017 with a dream to formalise the informalities that had engulfed this great County. Women were selling their wares by the roadside and in deplorable conditions. There is no dignity in doing business in the streets where they risk huge losses due to harsh weather conditions and other street uncertainties,” said the governor.
The County boss said he took charge of office five years ago when Kisumu was in a total mess and he initiated several projects that have turned around the livelihoods of the residents.
He outlined his government’s commitment to supporting Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) by prioritising market development across the seven sub-counties to make the traders feel secure to trade in a dignified environment.
According to Nyong’o, the unveiling of the Uhuru Business Park Market Complex which has the largest capacity to accommodate over 10,000 businesses was expected to settle all the small-scale and informal traders displaced for infrastructural development and the city beautification programme.
However, the occupancy of the multi-million facility has remained dismal four months after it opened its gates to traders due to the cartels.
Besides the Uhuru Business Market, Nyong’o’s administration has upgraded Kibuye into a modern business complex complete with socio-economic amenities and proper infrastructure that will serve over 3,500 traders upon completion of its second phase.
Prof Nyong’o also commissioned another ultra-modern market in Otonglo area, Kisumu West Sub County, Chichwa market in the Central Business District and Korowe market in Nyando Sub County.
Nyong’o was speaking during an engagement forum with the youths drawn from across Kisumu County at the Tom Mboya Labour College.
At the same time, he challenged the young people to take advantage of the conducive environment his government had established to establish businesses for generating wealth.
“There is nothing sinister in making wealth when taking part in an honest business. My responsibility is to create an enabling environment and the County Assembly has passed transparent bills that favour the youth to become entrepreneurs,” he said.
Further, with the refurbished Kibuye market complex, which is the largest in the region and serves the East and Central Africa market, he said, banks should consider establishing their footprints inside the market to reduce the risks of traders moving out of the facility while carrying cash.
This, he added, will create additional job opportunities for youths as bank tellers as well as Mpesa agents’ attendants.
By Robert Ojwang’