Fresh produce market built in Kibaki era remains idle

A Sh10 million fresh produce market at Kajiunduthi in Maara Constituency constructed under the Sh22 billion economic stimulus programme has been idle for the last eight years.

The market built under President Mwai Kibaki’s government can accommodate 30 fresh produce traders, but villagers say it is only used as a meeting place by women groups from the village.

Maara sub-county Agricultural officer Mwirigi Kirera said the main reason the facility has never been used is because it was built where there was no market.

He said he was the area’s agricultural officer during the construction but was never consulted and that he does not even know who financed it. “I have never known who constructed or funded this project and even after its completion it was never handed over to the local agricultural officers,” said Mr Kirera.

Contacted for comment, Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, who was also the area’s legislator during the market’s construction, said the project was put up under the economic stimulus programme.

The lawmaker, however, did not comment on choice of location. A resident, Ms Lucy Kaari, said the market should have been constructed at the nearby Marima market centre where there are people to buy produce.

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