Kenya: City Businessmen Oppose CBD Access for Hawkers During Car-Free Days

Heavy traffic on University Way in the city centre on January 22, 2019.
30 January 2019

A group of Nairobi businessmen has petitioned the government to shelve plans to allow hawkers to access the capital's Central Business District during the proposed car-free days.

The businessmen argued that allowing hawkers to sell their wares in the CBD will not only congest the streets, but also scare away potential customers eventually leading to loss of revenue.

The traders, most who operate accessory shops and restaurants, have threatened to close down their shops if the plan is actualised, accusing the Ministry of Transport and the Nairobi County Government of not consulting them.

"This idea was never thought through well and its implementation will have serious ramifications," said Gaetano Ruffo, the proprietor of Trattroria resturant.

"We are seeing a situation where criminals and street families who the government did so much to get rid of from the CBD will make a return. The idea is not good for the CBD," said Ruffo.

The government recently also announced plans to decongest the city center by barring private vehicles from the CBD on Wednesday and Saturdays but has since postponed the plan by a fortnight.

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