• In a May 20 letter seen by the Star, Hinga instructs the county commissioner Meru Mwangi to take immediate steps to secure the affected houses and land until due process is followed.
• National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale swore to protect the traders, claiming they were being forced out of the market.
Plans by the Garissa county governments to expand and modernise the Korahey market and build the deputy governor’s official residence have been halted by housing PS Charles Hinga.
At least five national government houses would have been demolished for the projects for which the administration had already set aside Sh75 million.
In a May 20 letter seen by the Star, Hinga instructs the county commissioner Meru Mwangi to take immediate steps to secure the affected houses and land until due process is followed.
“Our attention has been drawn to preparations including tendering to the construction of market stalls within the compound where the national government houses LG/MWD/20-22 stand,” the letter copied to the county director of housing Boniface Mule reads in part.
The letter also reads: “further a proposal to construct the main market within Posta Road Estate by demolishing five houses MG61, 119, 120, 121, 1 22 has been noted, there is a further proposal to construct deputy governors house on the compound on which national government house No. MG 115 Garissa township is located.”
Speaking last Tuesday during Idd celebrations, Governor Ali Korane said plans were at an advanced stage to have the constructions works at the market start.
“We have good intentions for the traders. All we want is to decongest the market and create a conducive environment for them to sell their merchandise and open up the road which experiences traffic gridlock during the day,” Korane said.
The county extensively engaged with the relevant stakeholders including the traders, he said.
But addressing hundreds of traders at the market on Sunday, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale swore to protect the traders, claiming they were being forced out of the market.
“I want to categorically state that the market will not be moved. For the last 13 years, every effort was made to relocate them from their historical market. That will never happen under my leadership,” the Garissa township MP said.
Duale urged the county government to put up basic social amenities such as water and toilets before engaging in other activities in the market.
“Under my leadership, I will not allow poor mothers who are struggling to eke a living by selling groceries to be displaced without a proper plan,” he said.
The legislator said the plan will cripple the business of Korahey market since they will be shifted far from their customers thus affecting the flow of business.