Turkana branch chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Pius Ewoton has warned traders against hiking prices during this time of Covid 19 pandemic.
Speaking during the county Covid 19 emergency response Committee meeting in Lodwar on Tuesday, Ewoton said it was illegal for anyone to hike prices during these difficult times.
“The chain of supply remains open and there is no reason why any trader should hike prices of their commodities,” Ewoton said.
He said KNCCI had engaged the presidency to ensure that traders are able to transport their goods so that the consumers are not affected by shortages of supplies.
The government has allowed transportation of food produce even in areas like Nairobi Metropolitan where movement of people in and out of the metropolis has been restricted.
Transporters are allowed to move their goods with a driver and a conductor provided they disclose where the goods are being transported to and ownership of the vehicle.
At the same time, Ewoton said he would convene a meeting with traders at Lodwar fresh produce market to ensure they adhere to safety guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of Covid 19.
He was responding to concerns by the county Public Health director Alfred Emmaniman who said the traders at the market were not observing social distancing guidelines.
“The Lodwar fresh produce market is not abiding by the safety guidelines. Social distancing is wanting. They need to do something before we recommend it be closed,” said Emmaniman.
Deputy governor Peter Lotethiro said the county government would be forced to close the market if it endangers the lives of the vendors and their customers.
“The public health officers will not shy away from making difficult recommendations including closure of the market if it endangers lives of county residents,” said Lotethiro.
The county public health officers have so far ordered the closure of California market for failing to adhere to hygienic standards.
By Peter Gitonga