Residents vow market land will not be grabbed

Grader levels Bumala market land that was ploughed by private developer on August 7th in Buamala. The space was a market for livestock. [Photo: Ignatius Odanga]

Residents of Bumala have protested a move by unidentified persons to take over a local market's land.

The open-air market in Butula constituency serves Busia and Siaya counties and sits on one-and-a-half acres of land.

The market, which was recently fenced off by the county government following a request by traders, was ploughed Tuesday night by unknown people.

"The county government brought in a grader, which leveled the ploughed place," said Dennis Ochanda, a resident. “We will not allow anybody to grab a market that has been helping us for decades.”

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Mr Ochanda said the land was bought by the defunct local municipal council and turned into a livestock market.

Another resident, Wilfred Sungura, called on the Department of Lands, Housing and Urban Planning to intervene.

“The land was sold to the municipal and the owner died a long time ago. We are surprised that someone is claiming ownership of the parcel. Nobody will put up any structures on the land as long as we are here,” he said.

Derick Owiti, another resident, said those eyeing the land should engage the county instead of digging it up to hamper business.

"This is the oldest market in the county and people come from as far as Kisumu and Kakamega to buy cows, sheep and goats every Saturday,” said Owiti.

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