Chaos rocks Kakamega town as Kagwe visits

Traders protesting demolition of kiosks block the main entrance to the Kakamega County headquarters on August 8, 2020. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The angry traders blocked the main entrance to the county headquarters demanding to be addressed by the governor, lamenting among others, that the county government has not provided them with any masks and sanitisers at the markets.

A protest by traders on Saturday disrupted activities at the Kakamega County headquarters as Governor Wycliffe Oparanya was preparing to receive Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa.

Pandemonium broke as Governor Oparanya and CS Wamalwa left the county headquarters in a convoy of vehicles, headed for Mumias West to visit an isolation centre.

The angry traders blocked the main entrance to the county headquarters demanding to be addressed by the governor, lamenting among others, that the county government has not provided them with any masks and sanitisers at the markets.

Mt Kagwe, who is on a tour of the county health facilities, is later expected to tour the Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital to inspect Covid-19 preparations by the county government.

The Kakamega county boss  had earlier received Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Majority Chief Emmanuel Wangwe in his office as the chaotic situation unfolded.

The protest was triggered by the demolition of kiosks constructed along a road leading to the Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital where CS Kagwe is expected to make his daily briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala tried to calm the group of traders, who accused county enforcement officials of crippling their livelihoods.

Kakamega Central police commander David Kabena engaged the group for nearly 20 minutes before he county enforcement officers to handle the protest.

County enforcement officials swung into action and managed to clear the protesters from the main gate as Governor Oparanya who was accompanied by CS Wamalwa and Mr Wangwe headed to Mumias West in a convoy of vehicles.

Mr Kagwe arrived shortly later as a group youths tried to block the road but were cleared by the minister’s security detail.

The commotion disrupted activities at the Khetia’s Supermarket as the youths pelted vehicles and attempted to block the town’s main Kenyatta Street, disrupting normal traffic to and out of Kakamega town.

But calm was restored after Mr Oparanya and his team left for Mumias town.