Evicted Eastleigh traders petition Nairobi County Assembly to regain market from private developer
Owners of demolished stalls in Eastleigh have appeald to the Nairobi County Assembly to help them regain their market after were forcefully evicted by a private developer.
The hundreds of displaced traders accused Nairobi County government of failing to listen to their grievances despite reaching out after the market was demolished.
In a petition tabled in the House by Karen MCA David Mberia, the 403 traders want the MCAs to intervene to ensure the Eastleigh market is reverted to them.
They also want the traders who had already been issued with original allotment letters to the market to be issued with title deeds or ownership documents.
“The county government have let the petitioners down by failing to handle the issue of demolition and forced evictions,” the petition read in part.
The traders said they owned stalls at Eastleigh City Council Market that had been in existence since the 1960’s until its demolition in January 10, 2009.
The market was then sold to a private developer under the guise of a public-private initiative who later forcefully evicted the traders going ahead to demolish their stalls despite the traders paying their monthly land rates to the county government.
The stall owners said they were never consulted on the initiative and their proposal to develop a multi-storey market that had been forwarded was ignored and they were not offered an alternative site despite claims by the county to have done so.
“As a result of the eviction, more than 3,000 Kenyans who depended on the traders were reduced to poor displaced Kenyans resulting to loss of livelihoods and untold suffering for both the traders and their dependants,” added the petition.
The traders intimated the National Land Commission (NLC) revoked the allocation of the grant issued to the private developer through a gazette notice No. 97 no.6862 of July 17, 2017 after a visit to the market in October, 2016.
Thereafter, a communication was made to the county government by NLC, through a January 25, 2018 letter, to revert the land to City Hall for use as a public market.
However, the county government has failed to implement the recommendations by the agency despite Article 62 of the Constitution giving the county government the mandate to hold in trust public land on behalf of county residents.