4 June 2018

Kenya: Mombasa County Starts Operation to Rid CBD of Beggars

Photo: Laban Walloga/Daily Nation
Mombasa County askaris round up beggars at Saba Saba on June 4, 2018.

At least 50 beggars have been rounded up by Mombasa inspectorate in an operation to kick them out of the central business district.

The beggars, including those living with disability, were arrested at Makadara grounds, Saba Saba, Buxton and Digo Road among other areas.

"Just last week one of them was hit by a car as he was begging. We do not want this to happen to another one. We are going to take them away from the streets and look for safer homes where they will be kept," County inspectorate director Mohammed Amir said.

The anti-panhandlers operation also involved officers from the Youth department.

Mr Amir said they want to help the beggars live decently.

"We have special orders from the governor who wants them removed. We are not doing this in bad faith but to help them so that they can also look after their families like any other," he said.

Last year, county officials were involved in the same operation, only for the beggars and street families to return.

A beggar, Susan Kadzo, said: "I am not here because I want to. I used to work at the Bombolulu workshop, but just go there and see if the workshop is still operating.

"The county has abandoned us then they are coming to take us from the streets. How are we going to fend for ourselves and our families."

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