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Beach traders protest over new Bill

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Denzel Musumba

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More than 3,000 beach traders on Monday protested against the Tourism Bill, which they claim will render them jobless. The operators from different beaches of the coastline between Vanga and Kiunga held a peaceful demonstration at Jomo Kenyatta public beach to oppose the Bill. The Bill, which was drafted in 2007 suggests that all beach operators be relocated to special markets because of alleged tourists harassment along the beaches. The group asked Parliament to reject the Bill. Mr Lucas Randu, chairman of Kikambala Beach Operators said the Bill would render them jobless and give business to established tour operators. “We have been struggling to improve business since post-election violence and the Bill will affect small-scale operators since thousands of them who operate along the beaches will be rendered jobless,” said Mr Randu. He dismissed claims that they were involved in the drafting of the Bill. “We have names and signatures of all operators and challenge those behind the Bill to confirm if those consulted are genuine operators,” said Mr Randu. Mr Ali Sungura from South Coast urged the government to equip beach operators with business skills instead of relocating them. “More than 70 per cent of beach operators are self-employed and the government should advise them how to improve their businesses instead of relocating them to places where there are no clients,” said Mr Sungura. Last year, Tourism minister Najib Balala said the government had identified areas in North Coast to build curio markets where all beach operators would be relocated to sell their products...Should the beach operators be relocated as stated in the bill..??? Visit our homepage http://www.eastafricaradiousa.com

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