• Kisumu senior principal magistrate Robinson Ondieki has ordered that he appears before the court on June 30.
• Magistrate Ondieki has until then extended orders barring the city from carrying out any further demolitions at the market until the matter is heard and determined.
Kisumu city manager Dorice Ombara has been summoned by court over the eviction of traders and demolitions recently carried out in Kibuye Market.
Kisumu senior principal magistrate Robinson Ondieki has ordered that she appear before the court on June 30 to explain why action should not be taken against her.
Magistrate Ondieki has until then extended orders barring the city from carrying out any further demolitions at the market until the matter is heard and determined.
Juma Odeyo and Joseph Bollo took the matter to court through the Kibuye Market Traders Association and Kibuye Market Traders’ Welfare Association.
Through lawyer Aggrey Mwamu, they are accusing the county of displacing them without offering them alternative places.
Mwamu said the traders had also on July 13, 2018, obtained orders stopping the city and the county from evicting traders from their areas of operation, a matter that the county ignored as witnessed in the recent demolitions.
However, in a replying affidavit, Ombara accused the traders of pursuing individual interests and being hell-bent on derailing county development projects.
She also wants the court to visit the site to ascertain that indeed the traders were given alternative areas like the parking lot of Moi Stadium, Raila Hall and other areas before the demolition.
Last week, they received court orders restraining the Kisumu administration from carrying out further demolitions.
Two weeks ago, the county demolished stalls to pave way for a Sh479 million upgrade of the market to accommodate more traders and offer modern facilities. Hundreds of Kibuye traders woke up to find their stalls flattened.
They said the county had taken advantage of anti-coronavirus rules to punish them as they could not leave their houses at night because of curfew to salvage their properties.
Local leaders criticised the demolitions, saying traders should have been engaged and given time to remove their goods.
Kisumu Senator Fred Outa faulted how the exercise was carried out deep in the wee hours of the morning.
"What is the need of destroying small businesses in Kisumu, yet there is no food given to those who are affected?" he asked.
Outa said he has received complaints from the traders that they were not given any notice of demolition yet they depend on selling their goods for daily livelihood.
“Nobody is opposed to development in the county, but we must undertake it in an organized and humane manner,” he said.
Ombara added that they will not relent until an upgrade of the market is realised. She accused cartels of disrupting the development of the markets and said some politicians are funding traders to go to court and stop the construction.
Edited by Frank Obonyo