Counties

Saitoti family now demands stalls in new Ngong Market

ngong-market

Construction equipment on site of Ngong market in Kajiado County on May 8, 2019. The facility is in the third phase of construction. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Summary

  • The four storey market with modern stalls and offices will accommodate more than 3,000 traders.
  • Traders were relocated to Ngong stadium temporary to pave way for the construction.
  • It 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.

The extended family of the late Internal Security minister George Saitoti has waded into Ngong market circus demanding a share of the stalls at the World Bank-funded facility.

The family says Prof Saitoti's grandmother, Wanjiru, also known as Gichiru, was a trader in the area before independence and as such they should be in the list of beneficiaries that Kajiado county government is preparing.

Speaking at the burial of Mrs Peninah Wanjiru Kapaito, an elder sister to Prof Saitoti on Tuesday, former National Police Service Commissioner Ronald Musengi said his family had a long history in Kajiado and deserved a stake in the market.

"My grandmother was a sweet potato seller and I am surprised that the county government left us out. We should have been considered" said Musengi.

He added that his late sister was also a stakeholder.

"There are leaders who are saying there is a problem with the allocation of market stalls. They have a right to point out such matters," said Mr Musengi

He spoke in the presence of Governor Joseph Ole Lenku. Prof Saitoti's widow, Margaret, sat pensively as Mr Musengi made the demand for the stalls meant for traders who were relocated two years ago.

The Musengi family is among dozen disgruntled residents citing skewed allocation of stalls. Some traders accuse leaders of allocating stalls to their proxies at a fee.

Last week, the Ministry of Infrastructure published 1,529 names of traders who had stalls at the site before construction of the new market started.

At the burial, Five MCAs from Kajiado North and area MP Joseph Manje threw their weight behind Governor Lenku saying they were confident the beneficiaries were genuine.

Led by Chief Whip and Nkaimurunya MCA James Waichanguru, the MCAs said there was no contention of the published names and asserted that the matter at hand was how to allocate the remaining slots.

Governor Lenku assured residents that genuine trader would not be denied space at the new market adding that there were no outsiders as alleged by a cross section of opposition leaders.

"We have three markets under construction in Ngong, Kiserian and Kitengela. All these have committees and I have started to meet them to ensure the transition is smooth, devoid of corruption," said the governor.

The project, now on its last phase, is funded by the World Bank through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Programme (NAMSIP).

The four storey market with modern stalls and offices will accommodate more than 3,000 traders.

Traders were relocated to Ngong stadium temporary to pave way for the construction.

It 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.