Thika superhighway drives 800 out of jobs
More than 800 workers formerly employed in premises situated along Thika Superhighway have been laid off since December last year when the access roads were sealed off to pave way for the construction of the highway. This is as a result of the huge losses that the investors are incurring, following the closure of their businesses due to lack of access roads to their premises.
They are now appealing to President Kibaki to intervene, saying that their efforts to have their grievances addressed by the Roads PS have fallen on deaf ear." Our instructions now are to demand from you, which we hereby do, the immediate provision of a reasonable and adequate access lane or entry for our clients to their respective parcels of land as appropriate," read the statement in part, addressed to Roads minister, Franklin Bett.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, Gachewa Motors director, George Mungai called for speedy interventions to salvage their enterprises from crumpling. He said their efforts to expand their business ventures were being hampered by their clientèle's inability to access their joints as a result of the closure of the entry points.
Following the compulsory acquisition of a section of Murang'a Road by the government to construct the superhighway, the first of its kind in Kenya, no efforts have been made towards the creation of entry points since December last year. "The result is that our clients who run various businesses along this stretch are facing the imminent collapse of their businesses and a loss of annual turnover to the collective tune of Sh1.57 billion," read the complaint note.
While decrying the low returns from their businesses, the group regrets the failure by government to acquire the entire land and fully compensate them instead of leaving them with land-locked parcels. While hailing the expansion and improvement of infrastructure, the group says that it will be counter-productive not to address other factors, which are leading to the termination of the workforce.
“We have paid licenses and obtained compliance certificates for our businesses, yet we cannot effectively manage our operations,” said Jitendra Gosrani who runs the Fuel Max petrol station along Murang'a road. “It is quite unfair, and going against the spirit of Vision 2030,” Gosrani who has been running Fuel Max for the last 20 years said.