Public Services minister Dalmas Otieno has directed the Rongo Town Council to reposes 10 market stalls allocated to council staff.
During a tour of the market yesterday, Otieno found out that traders have been forced to close their businesses because of the high fees demanded by the council.
"Traders occupying the kiosks grabbed by corrupt and greedy officials should pay the required fees directly to the council and not the fake landlords," Otieno said.
The traders said council workers have grabbed the stalls and are leasing them out at twice the normal rate of Sh1,500. The minister ordered the town clerk and treasurer to offer allotment certificates to the traders occupying the grabbed stalls immediately.
Through their chairman Joseph Ariwi, the traders thanked the minister for his intervention.
Ariwi said some traders had been involved in confrontations with council askaris over their refusal to pay the fees. "Traders who had earlier refused to pay their council fee will now oblige and pay promptly once the allotment letters are given out," Ariwi said.
Otieno asked traders from neighbouring counties to invest in the town since the council's fee is affordable.