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MPs assure traders Gikomba road will be diverted

Three Nairobi MPs have assured traders at Gikomba market that a proposed road that is to pass through the market will be diverted.

The MPs told the traders, whose stalls were razed by a huge fire on Tuesday night, to reconstruct their premises without fear of eviction.

The politicians who visited the market on Wednesday were Nairobi Women Representative Rachel Shebesh, Starehe MP Maina Kamanda and Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati. 

“We will pursue this further to ensure you continue with business and an alternative route for the road found,” said Mr Shebesh .

The traders however expressed reservations at the assurances of the politicians.

They said their stalls could still be demolished if the push for the diversion of the planned road fails.

“We are confused at the way the government is handling this issue. As much as we want to continue with business, we are worried that our stalls maybe razed down again,” said Mr Maina one of the traders at the market.

The traders claim Tuesday’s fire is connected to a 90 day evacuation notice they were given to vacate the area to create room for the proposed road.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority had published a notice on local dailies identifying road corridors that are to be vacated. The Quarry Road Extension that covers a section of the Gikomba market was among the roads named.

Women traders who incurred losses in the Tuesday evening inferno blamed Ms Shebesh for not advancing the business interests of women in the county.

“Although she has found time to come and see the situation on the ground, the damage has already been done yet she had the time to solve it earlier,” said Mama Chege.

“Several families will be affected. T here will not be any source of income till the business stabilizes again, this is not the best way to vacate traders from land,” she added.