Traders in Murang’a want the roadblock mounted at river Chania to bar people from moving to and from Nairobi metropolis be re-located to Githurai area.
The traders, led by officials of Kenya National Chambers of Commerce (KNCC), Murang’a branch, say that the cessation of movement between Murang’a and Thika has disrupted the supply chain diminishing working capital in Murang’a county.
The chamber officials argued that by relocating the roadblock to Githurai, Murang’a traders will increase their operations area by trading in Thika among other surrounding centres.
Led by the KNCC branch chairman, Festus Kamau Thanduru the traders noted that the cessation of movement has impacted negatively on Murang’a people who do business in Thika town, thus need for the relocation of the police manned road block.
“The road block has impacted negatively on residents of Gatanga, Kandara and Maragua as they have businesses in Thika town in Kiambu County,” said Kamau.
Majority of residents of Murang’a, the chairman added prefer getting supplies from Thika and Juja which are in Kiambu County.
“We appeal to the government to move the roadblock to Githurai or near Kahawa so as to enable our business people to get supplies from Thika without much hustle,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman appealed to the county government of Murang’a to consider waiving land rates, single business permit and liquor licenses for a period of six months so as to cushion traders from the impact of Covid-19.
He said most business people have been incurring huge losses after the pandemic was reported in the country and thus it has been a big challenge for them to meet all expenses.
“Parking fee should be reduced by 50 percent similar to the Kiambu county government to help offload the burden of motorists visiting urban centers,” said Kamau.
A director of the chamber Simon Jogoo said there was need for traders to support initiatives by the KNCC to look for intervention programmes during this Covid 19 period.
“There are millions of shillings which the organization has negotiated with a commercial bank to support traders to recover following losses incurred during Covid 19 pandemic,” said Jogoo.
Julia Karanja from Gatanga pleaded with the government to support small business people to reopen their businesses.
“Make the compliance process affordable to the small scale traders, through making Covid 19 tests accessible to those interested to reopen their businesses,” said Ms. Karanja.
Over the weekend, Murang’a politicians asked the government to remove the road block from the bridge saying it was more punishing than protecting the locals.
Murang’a County Commissioner Mohammed Barre however said the road block was part of the government’s intervention to stop the spread of the disease.
By Bernard Munyao