More than 100 traders in Jamhuri Market in Busia County spent Monday night in the cold with a view to protect their wares after police officers in collaboration with County government enforcement officers demolished their premises.
Led by their Chairman Stephen Obala, the traders lamented that the officers swiftly and ruthlessly carried out the operation leading to destruction and loss of some of their property.
According to Obala, the demolition exercise was carried out with the aim of paving way to a private developer who is claimed to have purchased the parcel.
He argued that the private developer is colluding with the former mayor, Wilberforce Ochuka and former Burumba MCA, Tony Onyango to grab the parcel of land.
The chairman urged the County Government to clarify the true status of the parcel stating that the traders have been operating at the place for the past 30 years under the authority of the defunct Busia Municipal council.
The Busia County Commissioner (CC), Joseph Kanyiri said that the parcel was temporarily given to the traders by the defunct local authorities but they established permanent structures on it.
Kanyiri explained that during the transition, an MCA bought the parcel of land and was issued with an allotment letter.
“The registered owner has been to court and they want to evict these traders,” he said adding that another private developer has also visited his office to evict traders from Kasarani market claiming its ownership.
He further said that there is need to educate both the local residents and leadership on land rights to avert such confusion in future.
By Salome Alwanda