Governor Wamatangi, MP Alice Ng’ang’a clash over who should construct Kiandutu market

Governor Wamatangi, MP Alice Ng’ang’a clash over who should construct Kiandutu market

A section of traders at the Kiandutu market in Thika Constituency that is set for a KSh50 million upgrade have waded into the row over who should construct it between the National and the Kiambu County governments.

The traders decry that politicizing the project will derail its implementation at their expense since they have been operating in pitiable and harsh climatic conditions for decades.

The market has been at the center-stage of heated politics in the region pitting Governor Kimani Wamatangi and Thika MP Alice Ng’ang’a. The two have been claiming to have lobbied for the project.

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi during a previous consultation meeting with traders from Kiandutu Market in Township Ward, Thika Sub-County. The county boss at the time said that the new market will be constructed through a partnership with the national government. “President William Ruto has allocated Sh50 million, while the county will contribute Sh25 million,” he said.

The traders noted that the market is characterized with clogged drainages, piles of garbage, lack of proper shades and lack of toilets among other issues which has scared their customers away causing them huge losses.

The irked traders marched to area Deputy County Commissioner James Wanyoike’s office in Thika town on Monday, March 25 to present a petition seeking to have the row settled to allow implementation of the project.

Their petition was also addressed to the Principal Secretary State Department for Housing and Urban Development, Governor Kimani Wamatangi, MP Alice Ng’ang’a, Senator Karungo Thang’wa, Kiambu Woman Representative Anne Wamuratha and Township ward MCA Kennedy Mwangi.

The traders, under Kiandutu Informal Business Community led by Sinai Kamau, maintained that the market was a promise made to them by President William Ruto and therefore should be implemented by the National Government.

Kamau noted with concern that the County Government administration has not involved ‘Mama Mboga’ in the project and only met a section of well-to-do garment traders in the market who ratified the decision to upgrade the market.

He said that over 1000 small traders have not been involved in the plan and are worried that they might lose slots if the project is implemented by the Kiambu County government.

Traders James Kimani and Jacinta Syombua called on the two warring leaders to set aside their political differences and pool resources for the project’s implementation. They also pleaded with Wamatangi to consider allowing the National Government to construct the market and hand it over to his administration for management.

Recently while launching construction of another market at Ngoingwa area, MP Ng’ang’a said that the project was a promise by President Ruto during the 2022 campaigns to build a decent market for small-scale traders in the vast slum.

According to Ng’ang’a, the National Government had already released KSh50 million for implementation of the project adding that the contractor will commence construction works in a few weeks’ time.

On the other hand, during a recent meeting with garment traders at the controversial market, Governor Wamatangi said that his administration has set aside KSh25 million towards construction of the one-storey market.

The county chief said that the project is one of the projects his administration is undertaking to upgrade the 100-acre slum.

He said a budget of KSh150 million has been set aside for the infrastructure projects in the area which include bitumen standard roads, walkways, social hall, drainage and high mast floodlights, construction of access roads, launching of garbage collection schedules and construction of toilets across the slums.

He averred that the slums upgrade programme is in tandem with the county’s plan to elevate Thika Municipality to city status.

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