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Was bad treatment of hawkers by Eldoret town askaris justifiable?

By Nick Kimutai | Published Thu, January 18th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 17th 2018 at 23:39 GMT +3
Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno chats with a tailor at one of the Eldoret Clothes' Vendors Market. [Photo by Michael Ollinga/Standard

Everybody in Kenya knows the primary mandate of county askaris is to maintain peace and order, and also to enforce laws passed by the county assembly. When these county enforcement officials meet resistance from hawkers, like what happened in Eldoret recently, they are compelled to use force and as it has been the norm in all towns and cities all over the country, blame is unfairly heaped on them.

Those pointing an accusing finger at the askaris should be aware that some hawkers are rowdy, while others maybe even be armed; anybody dealing with them must be very cautious and that is why kanjos are always given police back-up.

As a businessman in Eldoret, I believe a clean and well-organised town will attract investors both from within and outside the country. The Central Business District (CBD) should not look disorganised as it is now, with hawkers selling their wares everywhere.

Hawkers, just like everyone doing business in Eldoret should follow the county laws and rules in their day-to-day activities.

No one should be allowed to turn our beautiful town to look like an animal market. People should not cry wolf when they are met with the full force of the law.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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