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Government officers accosted by fierce slum vendors

Thika OCPD Erastus Muthamia trying to calm down the irate youth from Kiandutu shortly before they got rowdy and started pelting stones at the officers, forcing them to prematurely end their meeting.
Thika West DCC Tom Anjere and other government officials were forced to flee from rowdy youth in  Kiandutu Slums, abandoning their fact finding mission concerning the erection of illegal structures along the Thika-Garissa Road near Broadway High School.

The team, which included officers from the Kenya Highway Authority (KENHA), Information Officers, Roads and planning officers and Security officers,  had visited the peripheries of the sprawling slums following the encroachment of the Thika-Garrisa highway road reserve by timber vendors.

Attempts by the DCC to address the rowdy youths who were armed with pangas and crowbars were futile as the youths demanded to be addressed by their MCA Kennedy Mwangi (KENTAMS) whom they claimed had allocated them the road reserve to construct structures to do business. They vowied that no amount of force would push them out of the site.

Sensing the hostility the DCC and his team fled the scene, leaving behind the area chief and some government officers at the mercy of the unruly youth who started pelting government vehicles with stones. The officers later jumped into their vehicles and followed suit with the angry mob in hot pursuit. 
Fortunately, nobody was hurt during the ugly incident

The youths had earlier told Thika Town Today that officers from the national government were pushing them out of business adding that the road reserve was a "no man’s land" and should be allowed to operate from the place to fend for their families.

Contacted for comment area Kiambu County Secretary Fredrick Kitema pointed out that the Multi-Agency decision to clear all the road reserves of any encroachment still stood and nobody would be allowed to put up any structure along any highway.

He explained that after the Naivasha accident that claimed the lives of over 50 people after a track carrying explosives lost control and crashed into on-coming vehicles, a decision was arrived at that all highways be cleared off any encroachment and structures.
“We will not allow any constructions on the road reserves along the highways. Any politician allocating spaces to vendors along dangerous sections should look for an alternative places to take them,” said Kitema.

He explained that the Kiambu County government had spent millions of shillings to construct walkways along all the major roads within the County and encroachers will not be allowed to put up structures that will endanger the safety of pedestrians

However, the MCA seemed to be reading from a different script as he confirmed to have allowed the vendors to construct their structures along the said road reserve saying that his office has already set aside money to construct a fence around Garissa Road Primary School that borders the controversial reserve to ensure that the vendors activities does not interfere with smooth operations of the school.

He claimed to have already consulted senior government officers in the County Government and had been given the go ahead to allocate these vendors the road reserve.

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