Traders in Kisumu condemn planned demonstrations

In Summary

•Traders said they are not supporting the demonstration and fully behind Governor Anyang Nyong’o and Wanga on the ongoing projects in Kisumu.

•They distanced themselves from the protests being organised by some residents purporting to be trader.

Market Milimani ward traders led by Jenipher Ogutu addresses the press on Tuesday over the planned demonstration by a section of residents.

Traders in Kisumu have condemned protests planned for Friday over the demolition to pave way for the ongoing development projects in the city.

They distanced themselves from the protests being organised by some residents who are purporting to be traders.

The traders are drawn from Upper railways, Winmart, Kibuye, Lower Ojino Kewo, Lwang’ni beach, Kondele, Maendeleo market, Oile market and Central Business District.

Maendeleo market traders chairman Philip Nyago criticised those planning the protests over the demolition of structures saying they were not traders.

“As traders, we have been in consultation with the county government through the city manager Abala Wanga on relocation plan. There are plans to ensure those affected are given alternative spaces,” he said.

Nyago said they are not supporting the demonstration and are fully behind Governor Anyang Nyong’o and Wanga on the ongoing projects in Kisumu.

The traders, he said, will not be party to the demonstration only aimed at derailing the county’s development agenda.

Nyago said those behind the protests are ill-advised and were only pushing for their own selfish interests.

“Some of the traders have already been given the spaces to do their business with the remaining lot set to be relocated at the Sh350 million Uhuru Business Park,” he said.

Traders Sam Ongayo and Jenipher Ogutu echoed the sentiments saying they will not support any demonstrations.

Upper railways traders’ chairman Wilfred Omuny also dismissed the protests. “We have been assured of business spaces and we are not going to participate in any demonstration,” he said.

Winmart traders’ chairperson Tabitha Ougo said they supporting Nyong’o over his development agenda. “He means well for traders following fruitful engagements we’ve had with the city manager,” she said.

Rose Sangoro, a backstreet trader said traders are well-organised under the county’s administration.

Susan Agutu, a trader from Lwang’ni beach hotels said they working with Nyong’o to ensure they resettled.

The county government has been demolishing illegal structures to create space the beautification of the city such the Sh241 million non-motorised transport project (NMT).

More than 700 traders have been given space at the Sh37 million World-Bank funded Chichwa market. 

The market is a component of the NMT, which targets to ensure pedestrians and cyclists have improved convenience, comfort, and safety.      

The chairman said they are committed to ensuring all traders who were affected by demolition to pave the way for the project get space. Some 1,190 traders were affected.

He emphasised that they are working with Governor Anyang' Nyong’o to ensure remaining traders are settled in Uhuru Business Park.

Nyong’o said state that his administration is not destroying livelihoods of traders through alleged demolitions as some politicians and activists have claimed.

“What we are doing is a systematic re-organization of the City to give way for more development projects such as the NMT. We are not chasing away the small-scale traders from their businesses, we are re-locating them to even a more conducive environment,” he said.

He spoke on Tuesday when he signed a memorandum of understanding with the Laptrust CEO Hosea Kili on the Sh3.8 billion affordable housing project at Anderson estate in Kisumu.

Nyong’o said politicians once rejected by the people in broad daylight are now using the relocation of traders in the City to make a come-back.

“They are shouting themselves lame at Funerals even as mourners refuse to listen to them. We suspect they are holding brief for cartels and Land grabbers some of whom have even rented pavements to unsuspecting traders,” he said.

Nyong’o said they are not telling the story of multi-million modern markets and business parks they have built for the traders relocated from various parts of the city.

“We want to tell our good traders to reject their cheap propaganda. I wish to assure the business community in Kisumu, especially the small-scale traders that each one of them will have spaces to sell their wares,” he said.

Nyong’o said those who have not been allocated stalls at the Chichwa Market, the iconic Uhuru Business Park will soon open its gates and those affected will be given first priorities.

This Ultra-modern Business Park, he said, will have up to 10,000 business stall. “It will be far better than the pavement where they have been trading in the scorching sun,” he added.

Nyong’o noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa on Sunday toured Kisumu and were happy with the work going on in the City ahead of the Africities to be held in November 16, 2021.

He further appealed to Kisumu residents to be resilient and bear with the county government as they strive to make Kisumu one of the greatest Cities in Africa.

“In every part of the World Big development projects must initially come with a little discomfort, which will eventually ease off,” Nyong’o said.