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Traders cite nominated MCA in land grabbing scandal.

Stranded employees of some of the yards earmarked for eviction, stranded after word went round that bulldozers will be deployed on Monday to clear that land for road expansion.

Small scale traders along the Thika-Garissa Highway near Cravers Inn have accused a nominated MCA in the area of using his office to illegally evict them from their premises in an apparent move to take up the space.

The traders allege that the MCA is using unknown officials disguised as Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to harass and intimidate them out of the space they have been working from since 2011.

Speaking to the press on Monday morning, Roseline Karwitha, an employee in one of the yards said that unknown officials have been visiting them since October last year claiming there are plans to expand the highway even though the traders were not informed of any such plans.

Karwitha claims that throughout the visits by these ‘officials’, none of them has ever officially identified themselves nor produced an official eviction letter, either from KeNHA or from the County Government of Kiambu.

According to her, this is a scheme by the said county official to acquire this space so as to put up a car bazaar.

She added that at one time, the perpetrators destroyed property worth more than sh. 200,000 when they deployed bulldozers to dig a trench that was meant to cut them off from the main road.

Peter Samba has worked there for about four years now. He argues that the secrecy in which this whole operation is being executed raises suspicion.

“If at all KeNHA wants to expand this road, the whole world would have been made aware of it and we would have no problem with that. But this kind of selective eviction and victimisation of some of us tells volumes. Someone somewhere is hiding behind KeNHA and the county government (of Kiambu) to grab this space for their own personal benefit,” said Samba.

Bernard Mwangi failed to understand how individual interests superseded those of the masses arguing that the stretch in question employed more than 200 people who fully depended on its existence.

“We have more than 500 people who fully depend on this place for a living. Where does he want them to go? Steal? We are appealing to our leaders to come to our aid and save us from these gluttonous leaders and businessmen,” quipped Mwangi.

Previously, county officials were sent to confiscate tents and rods from one of the traders but were repelled by angry workers who threated to lynch them. They later came and arrested the owner of the yard and intimidated him with a view to push him out of the place.

Rumour has it that part of that area has been leased to certain individuals who paid the schemers of the plot some hefty amounts running to tens of millions of shillings.

“Our predicaments are as a result of those people who paid about sh. 15million for this yard. They are now demanding their money back if at all we are not evicted,” said one employee who did not want to be quoted for fear of reprisal.

That stretch of the road reserve is about 300 metres to up to the Gatitu junction and hosts several businesses which sell concrete slabs, tents, mazeras, furniture and tree nurseries among others. However, it is alleged that only traders working in about the first 100 metres from the flyover are being harassed, bringing to question the genuity of the eviction orders.

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