JULY 15 EVICTION

Malaba squatters on public land given 21 days to vacate

The evictions are intended to facilitate the reorganisation of Malaba town.

In Summary
  • The municipality issued notice as affected traders raised concern with the Malaba town managers, telling them to find alternative space for them to operate from.
  • The notice is copied to among others Busia Lands, Housing and Urban Development Peter Odima and Teso North OCPD Joseph Matiku.
A trader sells fruits on the roadside in Malaba town
A trader sells fruits on the roadside in Malaba town
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

The management of Malaba Municipality in Busia has ordered residents occupying public land and those who have encroached on road reserves to leave.

Those affected have 21 days to vacate, says a notice seen by the Star signed by Malaba Municipality Manager Francis Asoyong.

Vacation of the land at the centre of evictions according to the notice dated June 24, 2024 is aimed at facilitating implementation of municipality’s reorganisation agenda, Asoyong said.

“Following successful conclusion of public participation on reorganisation of Malaba town that brought together all affected people in Customs, Main Stage and Kocholya areas, where it was unanimously agreed that you all vacate road reserves and public land to allow the implementation of the reorganisation agenda in line with our development partners, notice is hereby given by copy of this official communication,” the one-page notice reads.

“That you vacate the said areas within 21 days from June 24, 2024, failure to which the municipality shall without further notice demolish all structures on the said areas at owners’ expense.”

The notice is copied to Busia chief executive for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Peter Odima, the chief officer in charge of Urban Development and Physical Planning Kennedy Mbaja, Teso North subcounty police commander Joseph Matiku and Malaba OCS George Ouka.

The municipality issued the notice as affected traders raised concern with the Malaba town managers, telling them to find alternative space for affected businesspeople to settle before the 21 days elapse.

Although the municipality is legally right to reclaim public land and secure road reserves, the traders said it was also crucial for the administration to be sensitive to their plight since evictions would disrupt their business and negatively affect income flow and wealth creation.

A trader, Anne Njuguna, appealed to Asoyong to allow traders who have agreed to vacate their premises to allow them erect temporary metal structures at specified areas to carry on with their business.

“We know there are plans to expand the Malaba-Bungoma highway and to reorganise the border town. We are ready to vacate once the dualisation process of the busy road starts,” Njuguna said.

She said it was unfortunate that their businesses would be affected unless the municipality found an alternative place to enable them to continue with their business.

Yunus Shaban, who operates his business at the main stage,  said the move to order for their eviction would affect their families economically since the county government had not offered them with an alternative site to establish their businesses.

Shaban said the Municipality had not directed traders where to relocate to continue with their businesses.

A boda boda rider operating at the Malaba Main Stage, Paul Emong’or, said the notice that expires on July 15, 2024 has not given traders an alternative place to operate from.

“The main stage has shops and parking a bay for matatus plying the Malaba-Bungoma Highway. Governor Paul Otuoma should intervene and look for an alternative for business people considering the high cost of living,” he said.

Women sell cereals along the Malaba-Busia highway. They also face eviction.
TO LEAVE: Women sell cereals along the Malaba-Busia highway. They also face eviction.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE
Boda boda riders at Amoni open air market in Malaba town. Their shades are also set for demolition.
NOT SPARED: Boda boda riders at Amoni open air market in Malaba town. Their shades are also set for demolition.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE
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