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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 1 March 2015

MCA in trouble with Luanda market traders

Wrangles that have marred Luanda traders association have eventually split traders with some blaming area MCA for allegedly meddling in the affairs of the association.
The traders have differed over the officials saying they are incompetent to run the operations and affairs of the association.
They accused are MCA Tom Atingo of allegedly fueling squabbles in the association with the aim of achieving his political goals. The bitter traders alleged that Atingo had a history of using public funds to break families when he was the CDF chairman. Further, traders accused the MCA of sexual exploitation and getting bribes to give road tenders. 
The traders said that chairman Donald Ondele and his new vice chairman Ruth Mbili are not fit to crusade and fight for the affairs of Luanda traders saying they are there to protect the interests of Atingo.
It is claimed that the area MCA rallied behind a group of traders who spread defamatory rumours against former secretary Etale Mbanya and vice chairman John Mukuna.
It is said Atingo feared Mbalanya could use his influence to convince traders to turn against him.
Word has it that Mbalanya was being fought by Atingo after the MCA realised Governor Moses Akaranga was close to Mbalanya and was using him in functions organised by Vihiga county government. However, Atingo’s camp says Mbalanya is a conman who used traders to make money from county secretary.
Sources privy to Luanda politics say Akaranga was planning to sponsor Mbalanya for Luanda ward 2017 and the information was leaked to Atingo.
Akaranga parted ways with Atingo after the later incited traders not to pay market taxes making the county lose revenue which was estimated at Sh5 million.
To ensure Mbalanya’s political wings are cut, he is said to have used traders to spread propaganda against Mbalanya. It was also said Mbalanya and Mukuna were allegedly extorting money from traders and selling market plots, something Mbalanya has asked for proper investigations to be carried out on.
 Mbalanya wants those who raised the allegations investigated and prosecuted if they fail to substantiate their claims.
Luanda traders who are tired of the wrangles have asked Atingo to keep off market issues.
“We ask Atingo to keep off Luanda traders’ association affairs and instead focus on delivering services to his electorate and illicit love affairs he is well known for. He stands to soil his political image if he continues his cheap witchhunt  in the association,” said a former official Mbalanya Etale.
In response, Atingo has distanced himself from the squabbles saying he is being framed. Atingo says he has no interest in Luanda traders’ affairs but his mandate is to protect and deliver services to his people in Luanda ward.
Mbalanya and Mukuna resigned from their offices after they were fed up with propaganda spread by traders hired allegedly by external forces.
Mbalanya says he is ready to contest Luanda ward seat and he is shopping for his political weapons and promises Atingo a tough ride come 2017 elections. The traders also complained against their chairman Donald Ondele for relocating his food kiosk after the plot which had been fenced to pave way for construction of modern Omena market.
The traders have demanded that the county government public health officer and works clerk move in quickly and ensure people do not sneak into the plot.
They say all traders who were operating at the plot vacated but the relocation of Ondele at the site will make other traders to go back at the plot hence.