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Traders up in arms over plans to close Kongowea

Traders at Kongowea Market have protested planned closure of the market for one month to pave way for renovations. The traders who met with Nyali MP Hezron Awiti and area Member of County Assembly Jabess Oduor want the renovations to be done in phases to ensure they continue trading at the facility.

They said the planned closure would render them jobless and starve the entire Coast region as the market is the largest market place for fresh produce. Mombasa County Government has announced plans to refurbish the market which is in dilapidated state after years of neglect.

However, Kongowea Market Central Committee (KOMACECO) Secretary Peter Nyaga has accused Awiti and Oduor of trying to incite traders against the planned renovations.

Nyaga accused the two of frustrating Governor Hassan Joho’s development projects saying the governor held a consultative meeting with traders where it was agreed the business community form a committee that would oversee the renovation exercise.

“We have already formed a 25- member committee and as we are talking the proposal will be taken to the governor this week, so we don’t understand why they are making rushed decisions,” said Nyaga. In the proposal seen by People Daily, the traders have proposed to have renovations done in five phases.

They have also proposed to have the market operate for 24 hours. According to Nyaga, the proposal provides alternative locations within the market to enable traders continue with their businesses.

“Since we are working in phases, when a section is being renovated, traders will be moved to the former market department building and later they can reclaim their spaces,” he said.

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