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Counties

Mombasa drives car bazaars out of homes

car bazaar
A man walks by a car bazaar in Ganjoni, Mombasa. The county has begun a crackdown on car showrooms in residential areas. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Mombasa county government has begun a heavy crackdown on car showrooms sitting on residential compounds.

The county has further warned traders against vehicle sales in residential areas following an outcry from members of the public over influx of such businesses in their premises.

Property owners have been renting out free spaces in residential compounds where traders have been setting up car showrooms, a lucrative business in the port city.

According to the county government, there are 242 car bazaars operating within the central business district, majority occupying busy roads.

The county government is targeting the business entities sitting on residential compounds.

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saying they are operating illegally.

“We don’t allow residential system where people rent their compounds to be used as car showrooms. If you want to set up a car showroom, Miritini is the ideal place the county government has identified for such businesses,” Mombasa County Chief Officer Finance, Abdulwahab Mbarak, said.

Mr Mbarak told Business Daily car showroom owners have been “overpricing” rental of the shops.

“Moving to Miritini will provide an opportunity for other business sectors to occupy such spaces. Once they leave, monthly rates together with goodwill will drastically drop, giving an opportunity for small and medium enterprise to occupy the shops,” he added.

In April, Governor Hassan Joho’s administration issued notices to traders operating from the targeted spaces to look for alternatives. Most of the business entities are operating illegally.

Mr Mbarak said some of the car showrooms lack Single Business Permit and that they were causing congestion in the tourism hub.

“The notices that we issued are for those general trading including car showrooms occupying government land without formal authority. So far five have shutdown, our inspectors are on the ground to conduct a crackdown on those operating illegally,” warned Mr Mbarak.

He said the county is targeting car showrooms operating on residential areas and compounds.

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