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Losses as Kenya National Highways Authority destroys premises on road reserve

EASTERN
By Daniel Nzia | April 11th 2016

KENYA: Over 2,000 traders in Makueni County are counting losses after a roads authority brought down their businesses.

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) carried out a mass destruction of kiosks and other buildings along Mombasa highway following the expiry of a notice it had issued to the traders.

The Saturday midnight operation guarded by armed policemen was done in Malili, Salama, Sultan Hamud and Emali towns.

The traders condemned the destruction of their property despite assurance by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana that their business premises would not be destroyed.

According to sources, KeNHA has embarked on a programme to bring down all structures constructed along road reserves.

The destruction has received mixed reactions from locals and leaders with some accusing the county government of aiding the destruction.

“The local leadership courted the forceful eviction by mis-advising those affected to continue ‘hanging around’ against the law,” said Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao.

He termed the demolition painful, considering the loss of livelihoods and property.

Prof Kibwana regretted the incident saying “today is one of my lowest moments of my life. I had spoken to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia who assured me demolitions would not take place in the affected areas until end of this month”.

In a post on his facebook page, Kibwana said he took responsibility for all the loss that had befallen the victims, adding that following Mr Macharia’s assurance, his government would to start availing alternative land to relocate the traders from tomorrow (today).

KeNHA Acting Director General LKTonui had granted a 120d-day extension period to allow the traders to relocate in response to a request by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior.

In a letter dated June 25, 2015 Mr Tonui clarified that the issuance of notices to vacate the road reserves was in Kenha’s mandate to protect road reserves.

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