Traders Lose Ksh 30M After Govt Cancels Event

  • g
    Traders at Gikomba Market, Nairobi
  • Traders are counting losses exceeding Ksh30 million after the government canceled the much awaited Devolution Conference.

    The traders, majorly from Makueni County, say they have suffered a huge loss after the 7th Devolution Conference slated for Monday, August 23 was canceled over the rising cases of Covid-19 infections in the country.

    A source who spoke to stated that the county government, in collaboration with other devolved units, is crafting a plan to caution the traders and ensure the losses are covered.

    Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana
    Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana

    "The loss is massive, business people were all set for this event. The cancellation could not be avoided, but we know the people have suffered. The county in collaboration with other devolved units are planning to carry out an audit to establish the extent of the losses. Governor Kibwana will address the issue," the source stated.

    Anthony Ngunga, the Chairman of Lower Eastern Hotels and Caterers Consortium, said most hoteliers had already acquired supplies ahead of the conference.

    Ngunga added that tents had been erected and screens installed at Makueni Boys High School, the venue for the conference that was scheduled to take place from August 23rd to 26th.

    The traders now want the national government to compensate them immediately, arguing that they had made arrangements to ensure compliance with the Ministry of Health's directives on Covid-19 containment including social distancing.

    The group further castigated the Council of Governors under the leadership of Martin Wambora for calling off the conference yet politicians continue to converge in other places for different functions.

    "We want to know why the conference was canceled. If it was because of Covid-19, then why are politicians still going on with their rallies?" Ngugi posed.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta was expected to open the conference on Monday, August 23.

    The Council of Governors had earlier communicated that only delegates who had received the Covid-19 vaccine would be allowed to attend the conference.

    “The conference will be a controlled meeting and only 1,000 delegates who are all vaccinated will be allowed in,” stated the Council of Governors Health Committee Chairperson, James Ongwae.

    File image of Kisii Governor James Ongwae
    File image of Kisii Governor James Ongwae