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Naivasha's only abattoir faces closure to pave way for housing project

By Antony Gitonga | November 15th 2019

Tens of traders operating from the Naivasha public slaughterhouse will be rendered jobless in two months’ time.

The county government has issued them with a notice to vacate the premises to pave way for the construction of the 24,000 housing units under the affordable houses initiative.

The abattoir lies on a 55-acre parcel of land that has been earmarked for the project set to commence next year.

In the notice signed by the county Secretary Benjamin Njoroge, the workers, butcheries owners and other traders have been directed to have moved out by January 31, next year.

But in twist of events, the traders through the Naivasha United Butchers association have vowed that they would not budge and have given the county 14 days to withdraw the notice.

Accompanied by their lawyer, the group claimed the county had not been provided with an alternative area designated as a slaughterhouse adding that they were being pushed out of business.

According to their chairman Wang’ombe Mboi, hundreds of families depend on the slaughterhouse directly and indirectly for a living.

Mboi said the county had imposed dictatorial means to forcefully demolish the abattoir without consulting them yet they were the primary casualties.

“We will not move and let this message be clear to those involved that the slaughterhouse will not be demolished and the governor should look for an alternative land,” he said.

Speaking to the press, their lawyer George Kimani said they had written a letter to the county to reverse the decision or face court action.

Kimani said they were demanding the immediate revocation of the notice adding that it was not only unlawful but at its best oppressive, embarrassing and unconstitutional.

“The suggested intention of decommissioning, demolition and relocation of the abattoir whose value is in excess of Sh40m is suspect, destructive and is economically,” he said.

Kimani said upon the expiry of the 14 days they will move to court if the county will not have shown interest in resolving the issue through an alternative mechanism.

His sentiments were echoed by the group’s patron Dr. John Muita who accused the governor of killing an industry relied by tens of area residents.

“We should be talking of value addition and this county should help us in realizing this goal in line with the Big Four agenda on manufacturing other than demolishing what we rely on for a living,” he added.

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