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Police to fire live bullets in the Central Business District

THE NAIROBIAN
By CYRUS OMBATI | September 20th 2013

By CYRUS OMBATI

Nairobians beware, there will soon be bullets flying past you.

Police have been given orders to kill any hawker who poses a threat.

They have however not been clear how they will minimise cases of stray bullets given that thousands of hawkers mingle with Nairobians in the streets everyday.

Nairobi police boss Benson Kibue has said police now have the right to shoot armed hawkers to protect city residents. 

This comes days after hawkers staged protest on September 16, which left motorists attacked and robbed.

“We are aware some of them were armed with all manner of weapons including machetes, sticks, knives and other crude ones. I have told my officers to shoot any of these hawkers who may come out again with such weapons,” said Kibue.

He condemned the attack of a policeman who was injured and his motorbike torched at the Globe Cinema roundabout.

Witnesses and police said the traders had been violently dispersed from outside Central police station when they met with the officer.

After beating him up, they turned on his motorbike and burnt it before escaping.

The traders were protesting the alleged killing of their colleague on September 11.

They had marched to the police station to air their grievances when riot officers who lobbed teargas canisters at them dispersed them.

Central police boss Patrick Oduma said they were not involved in the shooting because no officer was armed at the scene.

“An inquiry into the allegations has been opened and we are interested in knowing what happened to lead to the death,” said Oduma.

Several hawkers have been flocking to parts of the CBD prompting running battles between them and the county askaris who are usually backed by police.

Oduma said hawking is banned in accordance with the city by-laws and urged the traders to stay away.


 

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