Kenya: Kisumu Traders Paralyse Transport in Demonstrations Over Relocation Plans

Kisumu — Kisumu City Manager Abala Wanga has remain steadfast in the wake of protests by Kisumu traders who vowed to topple him out of office.

The traders at Nyamlori market and motorists at the Kisumu bus park are aggrieved by the city plan to relocate them.

Abala says the plan will go as planned on 16th next month and will not back out.

The organizers of the demonstration, Audi Ogada says the push to have the city manager vacate office is on and will not die out.

“The city can’t be run as a kiosk, there must be consultation not a one man show” he said.

The city has notified traders at Nyamlori to move to the new Uhuru Business Park while a section of motorists to relocate to Mowlem bus park along Kisumu Nairobi road.

Abala says the aim is to decongest bus park and retain public service vehicles plying Kisumu-Kericho and Kisumu -Kisii route to terminate at Mowlem.

For Nyamlori traders, he says the court had pronounced itself and set timelines for traders to move out.

“The market is occupying a service lane for fire fighters and they must move out. The went to court and lost the case,” he said.

Ogada who was part of today’s demonstration says the resolve still remains strong in the face of threats and intimidation.

“I have been villified, my family has been threatened but even if I will remain one person standing, Abala must go,” he said.

A former Kisumu Municipality councillor Robert Otuge says the modernization of the city was planned long time ago.

“During our council meeting, we discussed all these and the implementation has taken long but now it’s here with us,” he said.

Otuge says cartels and landlords are the ones pushing for the removal of Abala.

“Some people fear they will loose landlord rights so they are fighting tooth and nail to derail this process,” he said.

Abala has maintained that he is implementing what has been discussed and approved by the Governor Anyang Nyong’o cabinet.

However, Ogada blames Abala of running the city as his own outfit.

“We have a city board and some members are wondering how notices are being issued out to traders without their knowledge,” he said.

The demonstrators today lit bonefires at the Kisumu Boy’s roundabout and paralysed public transport services, with most motorists withdrawing their services.

The protestors, carrying placards and twigs walked through the main streets of the lakeside city as a team supporting Abala withdrew their marching too along the streets.

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