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City hawkers now want to relocate to markets

NEWS

Hawkers operating in the city have agreed to relocate to markets that were constructed by the Nairobi county government and the national government.

A cross section of hawkers who talked to The Nairobian said that they welcomed a recent announcement by the Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja that he will streamline the operations of the hawkers by placing them in designated areas.

The hawkers said that they hope that the governor through the city askaris will not be selective when removing them from the streets.

“It will be prudent to relocate all of us without leaving others behind. This will ensure no pne remains or returns back to street hawking,”said Jane Atieno a hawker.

Another hawker Patrick Njuguna said that all of them can not fit in Muthurwa market but proposed that they can be split and sent to alternative markets.

Felix Nzioka who plies his trade along Tom Mboya street urged the Nairobi county government to give direction where hawkers can be banned from operating in the city during week days but be allowed to operate on some streets at the weekend.

“It will be proper if we can leave the CBD during week days as this are the busiest time for people working but be allowed on weekends like afternoon to operate on some streets that should be closed to motorists,”said Nzioka.

In the recent past there has been long battle between the Nairobi county government askaris and hawkers.

This has at times seen injuries from askaris when they engage in cat and mouse runs with hawkers in the city.

Hawkers have also complained of losing their valuables to the askaris as they flee.

Female hawkers also complain of being sexually harassed by the askaris they have described as rogue.

The askaris on their part have claimed that their colleagues have been stabbed and sustained injuries by hawkers wielding knives during raids.

Last week when Sakaja met county workers for the first time since assuming office he promised to streamline the work of hawkers by ensuring that order is restored in their sector of business.

Hawking has been a serious challenge in the Central Business District (CBD) where licensed traders have been complaining that hawkers have been obstructing their business premises.

City residents too have on numerous occasions complained that the hawkers have been keeping the city tidy and creating so many obstruction along various city streets.

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