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Gikomba traders reject Kidero’s Sh5m rebuilding plan

Traders at Gikomba market have rejected a Sh5 million compensation plan from the county government.

They said the plan to build permanent structures where a fire gutted down a large section of the market, would displace them.

The restive traders, who lost millions of shillings worth of goods in the Monday night fire, said they would incur further losses if they waited for the county to build the stalls.

Chairman Nichodemus Mwadede said they would build temporary structures and resume business immediately.


On Tuesday, Governor Evans Kidero said the county had set aside Sh5 million to help the traders.

He said the destroyed structures would be replaced by permanent ones to be built by the National Youth Service.

“We met county government representatives today and we do not agree with their plan. They want to bar us from rebuilding our stalls. That is like telling us to go hungry and become thieves,” Mr Mwadede told the traders.

Gikomba has a daily turnover of Sh500 million, according to the county government.

The traders claimed the government had disowned them yet they pay rates of Sh15,000 a month.

However, a section of the market was being rebuilt by second-hand clothes dealers who said the order not to build does not affect them.

Ms Carol Wambui said traders next to residential houses who deal in shoes had been barred from re-building as residents blame them for the fire.


“We know it only affects the area between where a road is supposed to pass and the houses, which the county government says it will rebuild,” she said.

This is not the first time traders have opposed an upgrade of a market after suspecting they would be displaced.

In April, hundreds of traders held demonstrations within the Central Business District to protests the planned renovation of Woodley market.