In every corner of the city and major urban centres, you are sure to find a beggar. Most of the beggars are disabled people who seem to have no other means of eking a living.
As Kenyans are generous by nature, these people do not go home empty handed. Which is good.
The tragedy, however, is that majority of the physically challenged people who beg in our streets don’t do so of their own volition. They are forced to by people who pluck them from their homes, either forcefully or after promising them heaven.
Sadly, a huge number of the beggars are not Kenyans—they are from neighbouring Tanzania and brought to Kenya by greedy human traffickers.
Once in Kenya, they are taken to the heart of the urban centres every morning with a begging bowl. The same people pick them and take them to some residential estates in the evening as was revealed by a local TV station a few years ago. In a nutshell, these disabled people are like merchandise to those holding them hostage.
What is shocking is that Kenya and Tanzania are fully aware of the human trafficking, but have done little to bring the vile business to an end.
Although there are occasional arrests, like has happened in Narok, these vile merchants continue with their business largely unimpeded.
This means there is no light at the end of the tunnel for these forced beggars. This is most shameful. Kenya and Tanzania must work jointly to ensure that the merchants are arrested and the vulnerable people are reunited with their families.
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