Worry has gripped tens of traders in Mtwapa town following an eviction notice issued by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA).
The notice of demolition of the structures erected along the Mombasa-Malindi highway near Mtwapa Weighbridge is set to affect over 100 traders who have petitioned the Kilifi County Government to intervene.
Speaking at their stalls the traders led by chairman Peter Ndwiga and secretary Amina Harun claimed KENHA was being discriminatory in the eviction order.
“They (KENHA) have given us an eviction notice claiming that they want to expand the road but we are wondering why is the order targeting just a few of us and not all of us within this town? ” Ndwiga asked.
The notice dated April 8 and signed by KENHA regional manager J. M Makori requires the traders ‘to demolish or remove the structures failure to which KENHA will remove them.
Amina said they did not dispute the fact that they are operating on a road reserve but argued there was need for the County government and KENHA to look for an alternative place to transfer them.
“We have been operating from this place for over fifteen years and even the defunct Kilifi County Council never demolished our structures, why now then?,” posed Amina.
Kilifi County trade minister Gideon Saburi said they had talked to KENHA requesting them for more time even as Human Rights Agenda (HURIA) Project Officer Eric Karisa said a market needed to be set up within Mtwapa, biggest town in the county.
“I want to assure the traders that no structure will be demolished at the moment because we agreed with KENHA that they will only move when we get land for a designated market,” Saburi said.