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Outering traders: We are not ready to move

Business owners on Outering Road are apprehensive about an impending eviction following plans by the government to expand the road.

The road expansion project is expected to start any time now.

The project, scheduled to take three years, will see an upgrade of Outering Road to dual carriageway.

Furniture shops comprise most businesses on the route, majority of which moved across the road from the railway line where they were evicted.

The railway line eviction happened in November last year after the Mutindwa train crash in which 12 people died.

Alternative spot

Some of the those who were affected moved to Kangundo Road where they set up businesses while others lost their entire investments in the demolitions that were done in the night.

James Oweke, the proprietor of Mutindwa Fabricators Furniture Shop said the road expansion was a good thing but traders should be shown an alternative spot from where to operate.

“I have been running this business for the past 20 years and it is unfair to evict me without showing me an alternative spot,” he said.

Mr Oweke said he feared for the fate of his eight employees who derive their daily bread from the shop that is adjacent to Umoja estate.

According to the traders, it beats logic that the government plans to demolish businesses situated 30 metres from the road yet they pay their dues.

“We take an annual licence of Sh7,200 and pay the county government Sh300 every week meaning that we are here legally,” said Duncan Mwaura, a furniture shop owner.

Mr Mwaura who has been in business for seven years said it was bad enough that they were forced to display their wares in direct sunlight.

Convincing a client that a seat on display is new, he says is an uphill task, as the sun destroys the material used on the furniture.

To date, the business owners claim they have not received official communication from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure advising them to vacate and give room for road expansion.

Display wares

Once complete, the 13 kilometre road expansion is expected to enhance traffic circulation and eliminate traffic bottlenecks that are characteristic in the area.

On completion, the road will have a seven metre wide service road on each side, dedicated bus lanes, flyovers and underpasses at major intersections, footpaths and cycle lanes.