By WAMBUI PAULINE
Businessmen from Juja whose trucks were detained by Kitui County Government officers 91 days ago are calling on the national government to intervene to have their trucks back.
The 17, whom each owns a truck were allegedly seized while harvesting sand in the region after the Kitui County Governor Charity Ngilu gave a directive that restricted charcoal burning and sand harvesting.
Speaking to the media from Thika town on Saturday, the chairman of Juja Lorries Transport Association, James Macharia, said that the lorries’ owners are fearing for their trucks as those seized were not allowed to move from the forest where they were being loaded with sand.
“We do not know the fate of our trucks. The Kitui County government has implemented the ban on sand harvesting in the region. Our lorries remain held by the county officials,” said Macharia.
“That for the last three months any lorry passing through Kitui County using the Thika-Garissa highway is subjected to humiliation by officers from Kitui county government pretending they are checking charcoal,” he added
Jennifer Mwendo and Mary Mawiya who are business ladies whose trucks are amongst those still in the forest complained that financial institutions where they got loans are threatening to auction them after they defaulted on their loan terms.
They are calling on Police and Kenya National Highway Authority to protect them from harassment by the people who have threatened to burn their vehicles.
Efforts by journalists to contact the Kitui county government to shed light on the matter were futile.