6 November 2017

Kenya: Sonko - Hawkers to Move Out of CBD Before End Month

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has said hawkers will be moved from the city centre before the end of November.

This comes amid public outcry over the invasion of the city centre by the traders who have taken over the streets, pavements and alleys where they spread their wares as early as 8am until late in the night.

Mr Sonko said he had started talks with the leadership of the hawkers before their transfer, adding that a meeting has been slated for next week geared towards a smooth process.

"I will meet with the hawkers from November 13 in a bid to oversee a smooth relocation of the traders to Ngara area," said Mr Sonko.

LAND IN NGARA

The governor also said he would urge the hawkers to move to their allocated land in Ngara even before the meeting at City Hall.

He has, however, blamed the invasion on the failure by the City Inspectorate officers to act professionally, accusing them of demanding bribes from the hawkers to allow them unfettered access to the city centre.

Mr Sonko said that he has sent two senior officials of the inspectorate department on compulsory leave over the matter.

"I have realised that instead of inspectors controlling hawkers from coming to the CBD they instruct the county askaris to allow them into the CBD at a fee. The bribe from hawkers is shared from junior askaris to the top command at the City Inspectorate," said the governor.

COMPULSORY LEAVE

According to a letter seen by the Nation, acting director of operations at the Inspectorate Crispine Caleb and his assistant Albert Kipkoech were on Thursday sent on compulsory leave after being accused of working under instructions to sabotage Mr Sonko's administration.

The letter signed by acting County Secretary Leboo ole Morintat says the two were suspended for allowing hawkers to block shops and licensed stalls in the city centre.

"You are hereby instructed to proceed on compulsory leave with immediate effect and not later than Thursday, November 2, 2017, until you are recalled to office," read part of the letter.

The two were the direct bosses of seven askaris who were arrested at the weekend and charged with robbing some traders.

Governor Sonko has since replaced the two suspended officials with Mr Peter Mbaya, who was a senior inspector in the department.

"Mr Mbaya will now be tasked with monitoring and planning operations in the 17 sub-counties in Nairobi, preparing the department's operations and enforcing laws within all the sub-counties," said Mr Sonko

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