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Thika Town MP Alice Wambui Ng'ang'a has challenged Machakos Governor not to implement laws that were meant to kill Kiambu business people who traded with their counterparts in Machakos County.  She said that for the County Government of Machakos to come up with laws that were punitive to the Kiambu side of the trade was simply using ethnicity to divide the people of the two counties who have traded with each other over the years.

She added that the Constitution of Kenya guaranteed every citizen to work anywhere in the country and protected them from discrimination along ethnic lines. She said that Kiambu business people trading in the sand business had the right to be heard by the County Government of Machakos since they were also stakeholders in the county affairs.

"As sand buyers, we should have been part of the county cess increase decision. We are stakeholders and the constitution demands that our voices be heard too," she said. 

Addressing sand transporters at Polysack area in Makongeni, Thika on Friday afternoon, Alice asked whether devolution was put in place to make it hard for the people by enacting laws that were aimed at killing their businesses.

She was reacting to the recently passed Machakos Finance Bill 2015-16 that increased the County cess charges from Sh.1,200 to Sh.3,000. The traders had protested the increase on Monday by blocking The Thika-Garissa Road at Matuu Trading Centre prompting the Matuu police to disperse them using teargas. The County Finance Executive later that evening was on television saying that that decision was final and that no amount of protest would change that.

Alice said that she tried calling Governor Mutua in vain since he was out of the country. But when she finally connected with him, he promised to arrange a sitting with him in order to square things out. She therefore asked these traders to be patient for only one week for the outcome of this meeting.

She added that failure to come to a compromise will have no other alternative but to go to court.

"If they don't listen to us, we will take him to court for bleaching the constitution. And if that does not work, we will have no other choice but go to the streets. No county can work in isolation. All these counties are interdependent and need each other to survive. They depend on us for so many things too. We are stakeholders and therefore should be listened to," she said.

The chairman of Dricon Transporters Sacco Mr. Bernard Kamau put them through to the kind of expenses they incur before the sand reaches Thika Town saying that the amount they sold this sand (Sh.32,000) could not sustain their businesses considering that expenses were now amounting to Sh.29,200.

"What can Sh.2,800 do to these transporters? These people have to service loans, maintain these lorries and still have balance to feed their families. How do you expect us to do all that with only Sh2,000?" he asked.

The traders resolved to boycott sand from Machakos and buy the same from Kiambere, Mai Mahiu and Kajiado since those counties offered a cheaper option. They said that Machakos people needed them more than they (Kiambu people) needed them thus saw no reason to beg Machakos governor for mercy.

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