Governor Wamatangi angered by demolition of Thika traders’ stalls over cholera outbreak

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022 12:10 | By
Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi addresses journalists outside his Thika Town office. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi
Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi addresses journalists outside his Thika Town office. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi

The demolition of structures hosting small food kiosks near Mount Kenya University in Thika by county enforcement officers has angered Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi who has now warned his officers against interfering with small-scale businesses.

The structures were brought down last week following the outbreak of cholera in the county which has so far registered over 20 cases and claimed one life.

Earlier, the county had ordered a ban on food vending and hawking as a result of reported symptoms of the disease, but Wamatangi said no one was authorized to demolish structures and the Thika incident came as a surprise to him.

At least ten food sheds and other temporary structures for cloth hawkers along the road leading to the private university were brought down while the county officials carted away the wares to the sub-county stores.

This has irked Wamatangi who insists that his government did not order enforcement officers to destroy small businesses and that such action can only be taken after consultative meetings with all the stakeholders.

The Governor who met with the disgruntled food sellers accused of displaying food for sale under insanitary conditions contrary to food drugs and chemical substances Act promised to relocate them to alternative premises within two weeks.

"The officers did not follow the law in closing down the businesses and demolishing structures and I promise that this will never happen again. There must be public participation in all matters affecting our people no matter their place in society," Wamatangi said.

“No law allows anybody to destroy the property of others. There are well-laid-down structures for closing businesses that do not comply with the law. No enforcement officer is allowed to inhumanly demolish business structures or carry with them the items therein,” said the governor.

The county boss also said as a way of cushioning the affected traders from the loss incurred, he would give each of them would get Sh 7,000 to enable them to feed their families. He also ordered the confiscated goods to be returned to the owners.

"My government will always embrace public participation in the execution of its mandates to avoid confrontations with the public or unnecessarily hurting innocent people," he added.

The aggrieved traders lauded the governor’s intervention and decision to have the county rebuild their sheds.

They pledged to comply with food regulations and maintain hygiene to tame the deadly Cholera infections.

More on News