A section of Kongowea market traders, who were affected by the 2019 fire outbreak that brought down 142 stalls, have called for fairness in the allocation of new stalls.

The Mombasa County government built new stalls after the fire incident.

Tobias Sule, the chairperson of the Mtumba Section at the market, said that the new stalls which were completed in June are slowly been taken over by ‘outsiders.’

He alleged some county officials want to occupy the stalls.

He said that this is contrary to what they had agreed earlier with former Governor Hassan Joho’s administration that the stalls will be handed to traders once completed.

“We have been patient for three years without working in the market as the construction work was still ongoing. The construction work was completed in June, but the county officials are playing the games with us,” said Sule.

He said they have had several meetings with the county officials and shared the details of those who were genuine traders.

However, they sense being left out in the allocation process.

He said as the representatives of the Kongowea market traders, they will not allow other people to be allocated space in the market.

“We will not allow any person, who did not have a stall here, to occupy space. We want our people who were affected to occupy them. Already, we know who should occupy each stall,” said Sule.

Mwanaisha Hamisi, the chair lady of the Kongowea wholesale market section, said they will ensure that only traders are allocated space.

She added that they will also have to sit down with the market management and county officials to agree on the rates that should be paid.

“We have reports that they also want to hike the rates, we will not allow that to happen,” she said.

Kongowea market secretary Ben Baya said that they have stayed for a long time without doing business, therefore they should be given a chance to continue with their business in the new stalls.

According to Baya, at least 15 stores have already been occupied by county officials, something which they said they will not allow to happen.

“We have had several meetings, but when they go back to their offices, they come back with other things. We gave them the exact numbers of the traders who were affected but when they came back, they brought a list with fewer numbers,” he said.

“We went back and agreed to come up with a resolution, but they did not obey the agreement on who is supposed to occupy each space.”

Source: The Star

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