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Traders protest over harassment by county askaris

By Robert Ochoro
Wednesday, February 17th, 2021
In summary

Several small scale traders in Kisii town’s Central Business District on Wednesday protested over harassment and confiscation of their goods and tables by Kisii Municipality’s enforcement officers.

Led by Kisii town’s small scale traders chairperson, Jane Matiabe the traders who carried twigs and marched peacefully in Kisii town, said the officers invaded their business spaces at night and took away their tools and goods.

The traders, who met the County Secretary, Patrick Luumba and Kisii Township Ward Representative, Kefa Mogaka outside the county’s headquarters, claimed the officers extorted bribes from them and intimidated those who failed to give them.

“The enforcement officers harass the traders from 5p.m and confiscate their goods which spoils their businesses. We want the county to prevail upon the officers to stop," Matiabe said.

Walter Kiyondi, chairman in charge of Kiosks, challenged the officers to liaise with chairpersons of various sectors and embrace dialogue to avoid conflicts between them and the traders.

Kiyondi said the traders have been affected with Covid-19 and it was wrong for the officers to disturb them and demand bribes from them.

Lumumba ordered the officers to return the goods to the traders, adding the traders play a great role in contributing to the county’s economy and needed a good environment to work.

“We have worked well for eight years. I want dialogue with your leaders so that we can plan our town together for all of us to be comfortable,” Lumumba told the traders.

He said the British and Kisii county governments are constructing a pilot  Covid 19 compliant market at Daraja Mbili market to aid decongest the town’s CBD.

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