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Central -Kirinyaga MCAs caught up in market traders feud over operators trading along Kagio town streets.

Drama ensued Wednesday noon at the Kagio food market, during a fact finding and an inspection visit by a section of Kirinyaga county assembly MCAs as two groups of traders engaged in a bitter exchange of words over the settling of street traders operating outside the market premises.
This is in the wake of an upcoming expansion of the market on an neighbouring parcel of land set to be purchased by the county government.
Drama began when area MCA Geoffrey Murimi was briefing the media on some the deliberations that had been arrived at during a brief private meeting held between the visiting MCAs and the operators representatives,when one of the disgruntled traders abruptly yelled in protest thus cutting short the interview.
Murimi in his media brief was calling on all traders hawking outside the market to get their businesses within the facility for their own health safety as the county embarks on the market expansion project.
The MCA who is also the assembly’s budget and finance chair said that funds to facilitate the purchasing of land and construction of the new facility has been factored in the upcoming budget.
“We want all the traders to get off the streets and bring their businesses back into the market.We have plans in place to make sure that they all fit within the already established facility for their own safety even as the county prepares to expand the market.”
However,this greatly angered a section of the traders who urged the county to first purchase the land and thereafter construct the market so as to accommodate the said traders.
Murimi however told off the lamenting operators saying there was sufficient space to accommodate all traders.
He also accused some unnamed characters for politicizing the issue and allegedly inciting some of the traders and former market leaders so that they could sabotage the county’s plan. Moreover,he cautioned them against falling prey to misleading propaganda that the county has increased the tax fee it collects from the traders.
“This is unsubstantiated lies ,the county has not passed any finance bill thus has not increased any taxes on the traders.The fee that is currently in effect,is what they have been paying all along,”he said.
Assembly majority leader Muriithi Kibinga urged all traders to resume their operations in the market from tomorrow as there are ample stalls for all traders.
He castigated some operators for allegedly refusing their colleagues to operate from within as they owned several stalls which they did not want to let go.
He said the county has plans to allocate Sh.30 million in the upcoming financial year to facilitate the expansion of the market which will be undertaken in two phases.
He said negotiations to purchase the land was ongoing but cautioned the county to flush out land brokers and deal directly with the land owners so as to ease the land purchasing process.
Some of the traders who spoke called on traders who own numerous stall to be compassionate and accommodate those operating outside.
They also called on the county to hasten the process of land purchase to counter the land from appreciating in value as years go by.

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