Top Stories / National
Friday, 19 Aug 2016 13:28 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Officials from the national government are in Mombasa to finalise arrangements for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to the region next week. In an apparent attempt to diffuse the tensions that have marked the president’s last two visits to Mombasa, the team has held meetings with local officials to plan the president’s itinerary in Mombasa.
The Principal Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Aidah Munano, held a meeting with Mombasa County government representatives to plan the president’s upcoming opening of a facility at Kongowea Market.
The PS toured the market yesterday accompanied by officials from the national and the county government, and both sides agreed to work together in overseeing a smooth enrolment of the traders who would use the revamped Kongowea Market.
The president will open the revamped market block whose construction began in 2009 under the Economic Stimulus Programme of the Grand Coalition Government. The renovation works are reported to have cost Sh320 million, according to budget figures.
The Kongowea Market is the largest open air market in Kenya outside Nairobi. It is the nerve centre of textile, cereal, vegetables and fresh produce trade in the entire coastal region. Since its management passed over to the Mombasa County government following the implementation of devolved governance in 2013, its renovation has been a source of tension between Governor Hassan Joho and President Kenyatta’s local enforcers.
The governor clashed with Mombasa Regional Commissioner Nelson Marwa last month when Marwa claimed that Joho (whom he did not name directly) was planning to take credit for the project yet it was funded by the national government. Joho had ordered the renovation of other market blocks and construction of cabro roads.
Yesterday, PS Munano, who was accompanied by Mombasa County executives for Trade and Lands, said the national government will hand over the block to the county government. “We are working closely with the county government. This bloc will be handed over to the county government, which will then ensure all traders get fair allocation,” he said.