Song and dance reverberated outside the Eldoret Lands and Environment Court as more than 1000 traders celebrated the court’s ruling allowing them back to their stalls at the Eldoret wholesale market.
The traders were evicted a year ago from the wholesale market by the county government of Uasin Gishu to pave way for renovation.
Justice Antony Ombwayo on Friday ruled in favour of the traders and ordered the Uasin Gishu county government to allow the traders back to the market within seven days.
During the ruling heavy security was deployed within the precincts of the packed court following allegations that another faction of the traders planned to protest against the verdict.
Justice Antony Ombwayo, who visited the market a month ago to assess the progress of the ongoing renovation, directed the county to work with the traders to ensure each trader takes the initial position they occupied before they were removed.
On March 2018, the court had directed the county engineer to speed up the process of renovating the market, saying the renovation exercise had taken more than one year and was subjecting the traders to a lot of challenges.
The Trader’s Chairman, Zakayo Maina and other traders expressed joy and urged other traders to remain calm promising to work with the county government to ensure order was maintained at the market.
Governor Jackson Mandago earlier insisted that traders with arrears will be compelled to pay before being allowed back in the market.
Mandago also said 200 new spaces will be allocated to hawkers and new traders who have been conducting their business in undesignated areas within the Central Business District (CBD).
The traders went to court seeking an order to compel the County Government to complete the refurbishment of the market and assign them their previous spaces after the construction works were completed.
By Kiptanui Cherono