No daytime hawking starting this Sunday, illegal business structures to be removed from CBD by June.

Thika District Business Association (TDBA) chairperson Alfred Wanyoike.

All hawkers trading within Thika have been given up to Sunday 17th of February 2019 to vacate the streets of Thika’s CBD or else they face the full wrath of the law.

This was announced on Tuesday by the Thika District Business Association (TDBA) chairperson Alfred Wanyoike during the Thika Business Open Forum that was held at Coconut Grill Hotel.

While responding to some of the queries posed to TDBA by traders, Wanyoike told them that following a joint meeting between the association, the County Government of Kiambu and the hawkers’ representatives, it was agreed that these vendors will only be allowed on the streets beginning 7pm when the formal businesses close shop.

“Any hawker who will operate within the CBD during the day will be arrested and charged in court. Thika hawkers have been allocated some space along the stadium wall where they will operate from during the day,” said the chairperson.

He added that plans were underway to create a database of all hawkers operating within Thika in a bid to keep track of all those doing genuine business and ensure order and security to members of public during their hours of operations.

Similar fate awaits the fruits vendors who also have until Sunday to wheel their mikokoteni off the streets within the CBD.

Consequently, informal traders operating illegal structures/kiosks have also been given notice to vacate from the CBD’s pavements, around Mama Ngina Garden and in front of people’s businesses pending the commencement of a World Bank project to improve and expand the town’s infrastructure and street lighting under the Nairobi Metropolitan infrastructure development programme.

They will by June this year be relocated to Government Quarters once those residing in the yard have been moved to Depot area near the Thika Fire Station.

On the case of the land rates, the chairman notified the traders that the county government had halted the implementation of the new rates pending the outcome of the ongoing public participation sessions which will bring forth the rates to be implemented for the fiscal year 2020-2021.

“The county government has suspended the implementation of the new rates and land owners are therefore expected to continue paying the old rates,” he said.

TDBA Board of Trustee Chairperson Waweru Nderitu addressing members of Thika business community in Thika during their open forum on Tuesday.
In relation to parking fees, Wanyoike said that the new rates had been arrived at to discourage outsiders who had formed a habit to park their vehicles in Thika and then leave to work in Nairobi using public transport. This lot he said, occupied the most parking spaces in the town, leaving most residents without enough space for parking.

He also notified members that they were also taking stock on all those who had applied for reserved parking to ensure that none was allowed to have more than two slots reserved for them.

“We are also in consultation with the county government to have a database of  traders within the CDB whereby those with vehicles can be allowed to pay a monthly parking fee of sh. 1000.”

He added that it was against the county by-laws to block anyone from parking their vehicles on these designated parking lots after 6pm as all parking reservations ended after close of business each day.

“We are also following up on cases where innocent motorists are being victimised by both the county parking attendants and traffic police over double-parking. Until the authorities provide enough parking space, we will not allow such harassment especially if the vehicle has someone on standby to drive it off to allow those on the provided parking space get out once they are through with their business,” he explained.

TDBA Board of Trustee Chairperson Waweru Nderitu reminded the traders of the power in numbers saying that disunity among them rendered them weak and exposed to manipulation and exploitation by those in authority.

“Those in authority will always take advantage of our disunity and exploit us to their advantage. The bigger our numbers the more these leaders will take our concerns seriously. We need to consolidate the voice of Thika in TDBA to guarantee ourselves a more conducive business environment,” said Waweru.

He however challenged the traders to honour their obligation to the association to pay their membership subscriptions to ease its operations.
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