Traders hold demo over market fees
There was drama in Naivasha after a group of small-scale traders held a peaceful demonstration to protest high charges by Nakuru county government.
The traders from the main market that deals with fresh produce marched to the local sub-county offices to demand explanation from the officers in charge.
Carrying twigs and placards, the over 200 traders accused the county government of increasing market charges without consulting them.
The bone of contention was the move by the county government to ban the daily charges of Sh60 and introduction of Sh280 monthly fee.
According to one of the traders Milkah Wangeci, the market was in poor status and the county government had refused to rehabilitate it.
She said that things had gotten worse during the ongoing rains adding that they were incurring huge losses on daily basis.
“Despite all the problems, the county government has gone ahead to increase monthly charges in the market and we are opposed to this,” she said.
The sentiments were echoed by another trader Alice Nyambura who noted that the market faced health challenges as the county had failed to address the issue of drainage.
She accused the county of being obsessed with revenue and failing to provide services as pledged during the campaign period.
“The current rains have adversely affected our services and instead of the county seeking ways to assist us, its introducing illegal charges,” she said.
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But addressing the traders, Naivasha sub-county administrator Julius Nyaata said that the issue had been blown out of proportion.
He said that the county had scrapped daily fees and introduced the monthly charges which would make it easier in terms of accountability.
“The county has in fact reduced the total monthly charges contrarily to what some believe and what we have introduced is a shift from the daily charges to monthly,” he said.
This came as several roads in estates were rendered impassable due to the ongoing rains that have been pounding the lakeside town.
The most affected estates are Site, County Council, Kabati, Kihoto, Kinamba and Lakeview where some of the feeder roads have been washed away.
According to the chairman Naivasha Professional Association (NPA) Absolom Mukuusi, the situation was getting worse by the day.
“Currently there are some areas in Naivasha where one cannot access using a vehicle due to the poor status of the road and we want the Governor and his team to wake up,” he said.
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