What you need to know:
- The market is famous for textiles, especially school uniforms.
- Demolition sparked uproar by Makadara MP Aladwa, ward reps and area residents.
The High Court has stopped a private developer from evicting more than 400 traders from Uhuru market in Nairobi.
The traders’ stalls were demolished three weeks ago.
The developer then brought steel containers to the area after reportedly buying the land.
The traders said they were not given any notice, adding that the developer destroyed their stalls at night, rendering them jobless.
The traders added that they lost property valued at millions of shillings.
The demolition led to uproar from residents and local leaders.
While serving police the order on Tuesday, Makadara MP George Aladwa told the traders not to move from the area. He said the court had ruled in their favour.
The lawmaker told security agents to ensure the traders are not evicted or harassed.
“We’ve served the Makadara deputy county commissioner with the court order,” the Makadara MP said.
“We will now fight to ensure the containers are removed. The developer must leave Uhuru market.”
The Nairobi county Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chairman told the relevant government authorities to always ensure notices are issued before any evictions.
“They should also insist on compensation and resettlement of the affected traders or families,” the ODM leader said.
Maringo-Hamza Ward Representative Mark Ndung’u said the traders have operated at the open-air market for more than 30 years “and the alleged acquisition of the land by the private developer reeks of the highest form of corruption”.
He added that the developer has never shown any court order allowing him to evict the traders.
The ward rep urged President Kenyatta to intervene “and protect Kenyans”.
“The stalls were brought down by the developer at night when the dawn-to-dusk curfew is in force,” he said.
“Where did the developer and those who demolished the stalls get permission to work during those hours? Where did the police officers who supervised the demolition come from? Why was the operation carried out at night?”
The market was established in 1976 and is famous for textile products, with school uniforms being the most popular.
Meanwhile, at least 4,200 needy students in the constituency will get bursary. Mr Aladwa disbursed Sh42 million to high school, university and college students.
The lawmaker said every ward would get 1,050 cheques.
Makadara constituency has four wards — Maringo Hamza, Viwandani, Harambee and Makongeni.