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Over 500 Thika traders in distress over possible evictions

Over 500 traders at the Njomoko junction at the Thika flyover on the exit to the Superhighway are worried after they were given eviction notices from the roadside where they ply their trade to pave way for road construction.

Their stalls and kiosks have been marked by Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) for demolition as a 10-day notice that they had been given to relocate lapsed on Friday.

The eviction exercise according to Thika Township MCA Andrew Kimani is to pave way for the rehabilitation of the Njomoko- Mangu road in Gatundu North Sub County that connects the superhighway to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway through the Naivasha fly-over.

The road is set to open up the area and ease access to the Naivasha highway from Thika.

“While the road will be a major project that will open up Gatundu North Sub county and Thika town, we ask that the traders be relocated to some idle land to help them continue to earn a living. In our public participation with KeNHA, we had agreed that the traders be moved aside and return back after the completion of the project,” said the MCA.

The traders called on the government to intervene and save them from evictions by KeNHA saying they have loans that they are financing and would suffer financially.

Through their chairman Linus Mureithi they said they have been operating at the flyover junction for over six years and their businesses have grown over the years, wondering about their next move.

His sentiments were echoed by other traders led by Tabitha Wambui, John Kirika and Joyce Wairimu who said they should be relocated to some nearby idle piece of land and be allowed back after the road construction is over.

“Our businesses have suffered a lot due to Covid-19 and after we have gotten some lifeline, we are now faced with evictions. Where are we being chased to? We have loans that we are financing and families to feed. The government should help us,” said Wambui.

by Muoki Charles

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