Kenya: You Have Seven Days to Vacate Public Parks, Says Nyong'o

A group of young men prepare to transfer an uprooted tree (file photo).
31 October 2020

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o has issued a seven-day notice to people occupying various public parks to vacate to pave way for rehabilitation ahead of the Africities conference scheduled for November next year.

In a notice dated October 26, the county government ordered all occupants and traders within Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Complex, Jamhuri Park, Victoria Park, Botanical Garden and Oile Park to move out.

Acting Kisumu City Manager Abala Wanga said the traders must leave immediately and not later than seven days.

"The move is to pave way for the rehabilitation and improvement of the parks for a period of 12 months," said Mr Wanga.

He added that in the event of non-compliance, the county government shall evict the occupants without further reference to them.

A few days ago, the devolved unit demolished more than 50 roadside kiosks in the ongoing second phase of the beautification programme.

Those affected include kiosks in Milimani and Mountain View estates and Jua Kali area. This will allow the repair of sidewalks and tarmacking and rehabilitation of estate and city roads.

Meanwhile, there are already challenges in resettling the traders to ensure they are not exposed to Covid-19.

Many of them are yet to get new areas to carry out their business even as they peg their hopes on the newly constructed Uhuru Business Park, which will accommodate about 10,000 traders.

Some have been relocated to the new Chichwa market and the Moi Stadium parking lot.

However, thousands of second-hand clothes traders, who were evicted from Kibuye market, said relocating them from Corona market to Moi Stadium will expose them to the coronavirus due to the congestion.

Mr Christopher Obaje, the vice chairman of the Kisumu Mitumba Association, said Moi Stadium parking lot was designated for traders selling groceries and other foodstuff.

The traders are asking the governor to reconsider the move and have them remain along Mosque-Kosawo-Corner Mbuta Road.

"The move by the county government will only lead to congestion," said Mr Obaje. "Already we are getting reports that some of our traders have attacked each other just to get space."

Ms Alice Weta, the group's chairperson, decried the move, saying county officials had reneged on the decision made during a meeting with traders.

She blamed the 'confusion' on the replacement of the market superintendent.

Ms Molly Atieno, the secretary, added: "We are afraid that the resumption of sporting activities will only make the situation worse."

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