- Kajiado County Trade executive Alvin Kimani said the relocated traders had been settled and that some 100 stalls will be allocated to Maasai traders including women groups.
More than 2,000 traders have been allocated stalls at the World Bank-funded Ngong retail market in Kajiado County.
Some 1,700 stalls have been allocated to traders who had been relocated to the Ngong stadium temporarily to pave the way for the construction of the modern facility that has lasted two years.
The project had delayed to take off for six months following traders’ reluctance to relocate fearing losing out when the new stalls were allocated.
To allay their fears, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure kept a list of the traders which it published last year in local dailies when the allocation process began.
However, there is still contention on the allocation of some 500 stalls with disgruntled residents citing skewed apportionment.
Locals including the extended family of the late Internal Security minister George Saitoti have been demanding a stake in the new market.
Merchants also say more than genuine 200 traders have been left out of the published list.
“Transparency is key in stalls’ allocation. Those known traders whose names are missing in the original list ought to be considered. Extra stalls ought to be located fairly devoid of corruption,” said the traders’ spokesperson Joseph Kinuthia.
He said the county government should first settle all existing traders first before allocating new ones.
Kajiado County Trade executive Alvin Kimani said the relocated traders had been settled and that some 100 stalls will be allocated to Maasai traders including women groups.
“The locals will be considered for the remaining stalls. We want them to reap benefits from this modern market. More than 2,300 traders will be settled comfortably,” Mr Kimani said.
Optimistic small-scale traders are expected to move into the new market by next week under stringent Covid-19 protocols.
“We are hopeful this market will be a one-stop shop for our customers. For many years we have operated under the scorching sun by the roadside risking our lives,” said Jane Kamau, a trader.
The Sh700 million four-storey market with modern stalls and offices was funded by the World Bank through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Programme (NAMSIP).
The facility that sits on a one-acre piece of land is billed as the biggest modern market in East Africa that ought to propel Ngong town to a 24 hours economy and attract international investors.