BY WINSTONE MUSISI
Business structures worth more than Ksh20 million constructed on a prime two acre plot belonging to a church in Eldoret town were pulled down to pave way for construction of a modern mall.
The Anglican Church of Kenya Eldoret Diocese owned property had been occupied by hundreds of traders who have been operating their businesses on the plot for more than two decades before they were issued a two weeks’ notice to bring down all the structures sitting on the property or face forceful eviction.
Uasin Gishu County, through the county executive committee member for Lands, physical Planning and Urban development Nelson Maritim, had told the traders to move out of the property ahead of the massive demolition exercise failure in which their business would be demolished at their own costs.
Over 300 people lose jobs
The demolition has affected businesses which include spare parts and painting shops, garages, private go-downs, pools and hotels which employ over 300 people.
While issuing the vacation last month, Maritim had warned the apprehensive traders and employees that there would be no reverse gear in the planned demolition, accusing the proprietors of the affected businesses of constructing the structures without seeking approval from concerned authority.
The Head of ACK Eldoret Diocese Bishop Christopher Ruto, welcomed the decision to demolish the structures on the church’s property terming the move long overdue.
The church is building a mall
He said that his church has leased the property to an investor who is planning to construct a business mall in an agreement where the church will be getting a monthly income to run its development and charity programmes spread in Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.
“The church has many development programmes it is running and the income we shall get from the business mall will help in financing some of our activities in the community,” said Ruto.
Some of the programmes which the church runs in the diocese include training of pastors and support of bright children from poor family backgrounds among others.