- The traders have appealed to the county government to allocate them alternative space to pave way for the expansion.
- Say if the county government fails to relocate them they will camp at the governor’s offices until their problem is addressed.
More than 900 jua kali traders at Daraja mbili market along Kisii- Migori road are living in fear of eviction following a road expansion plan.
The traders, majority of whom are mechanics operating garages, are now appealing to the Governor Simba Arati-led government to allocate them alternative space.
Led by chairman Timothy Achachi, the mechanics said they fear losing their livelihoods, if they are displaced and vehicles of their clients damaged.
“We have been operating here for more than 50 years and we have been earning our living for the entire period. Some of us have children in secondary and universities so if we do not we get an alternative place, we are going to suffer a lo," Achachi said.
The chairman said the contractor has beaconed the place and was set to destroy vehicles being repaired. He urged the county government to address their plight within two weeks to avoid losses.
If the county government fails to relocate them, Achachi said they will camp at the governor’s offices until their problem is addressed.
Stephen Okaka, who has been operating a garage since 1992, said they had been given a notice to move from the area but have nowhere to go.
“We are ready to move but we have nowhere to go. We ask the county government to relocate us or else, we will be forced to hold peaceful demonstrations” Okaka said.
Zachary Ndemo, a mechanic and trainer, said they had paid for a license to operate their businesses, adding, they risk losing their properties if they are displaced.
Ndemo noted the county government gets millions of shillings from revenue annually from the jua kali sector, adding, if they are not relocated, their children risk dropping out of school due to lack of fees.
"A number of us are parents and train mechanic students attached to our garages. We should be relocated to continue with our work” Ndemo said.
-Edited by SKanyara