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Treat hawkers better, Nairobi county told

By Graham Kajilwa | July 30th 2016

Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru (pictured) has hit out at Nairobi County askaris for harassing hawkers.

Mr Waweru said the inhumane way hawkers are being manhandled by askaris is not only against the law but also unnecessary. He said the small scale traders need a decent place to do business.

“The spectacle of able bodied men mishandling women selling wares on the street is barbaric and symbolises a city that has lost its soul and mind,” he said.

He added: “How can the county government explain the scene where a woman is seen hiding under a bus from a gang of askaris?” Waweru said Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has failed small scale traders. “It is a shame that Muthurwa is full of garbage and clogged sewers. Yet the traders there pay rates to the county government daily,” said the 2017 gubernatorial hopeful.

“Nairobians, including small scale traders deserve better management of market places,” he added.

But Kidero in his defence insists that it is imposters who harass the traders. In a bid to increase vigilance against hawking, a county sub-committee recently recommended that askaris should from next week start operating 24/7 to keep an eye on traders, matatu operators and illegal garbage dumpers.

“Offenders have been taking advantage of the askari’s absence at night to conduct illegal business,” said Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke. The county government has been accused of giving traders trading licences then going against their own documents in a case that has been taken to court.

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