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Traders demand Sh700m before Outer Ring road expansion starts

Three hundred and seventy four traders at the Tena market have moved to court seeking Sh0.7 billion in compensation over impending eviction.

The traders have rejected a Sh50,000 “disturbance allowance” from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), which has earmarked their stalls for demolition ahead of the expansion of Outer Ring Road.

They have been told to serve the Nairobi County government and the parastatal for a hearing on March 6 at the high court.

“On July 17 2007 the City Council of Nairobi, through its social services and housing committee, approved the allocation of 320 stalls and a power room to the petitioners…the council further approved the construction of additional stalls on the remaining space,” the petition lodged at the court reads.

PERMANENT STALLS

The traders say that following the approval, they began construction of decent permanent stalls which cost each trader Sh1.5 million, in addition to two power rooms each at Sh510,000.

“It was confirmed and established that the suit property comprising the whole Tena community market existed and was available for allocation to the petitioners,” they state.

In addition to the investments, they have been remitting Sh150,000 yearly as license fees for the businesses, they say in the petition.

“On January 7, 2014, KURA notified the traders that the government in conjunction with the African Development Bank (AfDB) was in the process of implementing the Outer Ring Road expansion project and later confirmed that the market area had been compulsorily acquired,” they say.

LAWFUL OCCUPATION

The petitioners say KURA offered a disturbance allowance of Sh50,000 despite “our substantial investments and lawful occupation of the suit property.”

“The petitioners contend that the “disturbance allowance” as proposed is not known in law, is unreasonable and inadequate.

They say KURA has further threatened to demolish their stalls to pave way for the road construction and claims that they erected their investments on a road reserve.

“The respondent has not assessed the value of the petitioners investment and stocks in order to inform their action towards a lawful , just and reasonable compensation,” they say.