City askaris accused of murder out on bond

City askaris accused of murder out on bond

The high court has today Wednesday released the four city askaris accused of killing a city hawker last year in Nairobi.

The four before Justice James Wakiaga were released on a 2 million shillings bond with similar surety and an alternative bail of 500 thousand each.

In his ruling the judge said that the prosecution did not give any compelling reason to deny the accused their constitutional right.

The four were however released on conditions that their employer re-deploy them away from the city center and that they have to adhere to the rule of law.

The case will be mentioned on 14th, April 2016 to set hearing date.

In January, a Nairobi magistrate ordered that 2 city askaris known to us as Alfred Maranya aka Brown and Julius Omanga accused of killing 2 city hawkers be remanded for a day to allow investigations into allegations that they killed two hawkers.

Another city askari, Protus Salala had also been remanded earlier

In August last year, hawkers took to the streets to protest what they termed as unfair treatment by council askaris.

“They threw bottles at me, snuggled me, then I fell down after which they arrested me,” said one hawker.

“They arrested me alongside others and took us to the fire station headquarters where they poked us with knives,” revealed another hawker.

The Street Vendors Empowerment Programme Chairman, Kimani Waweru then alleged that the council askaris harassed female vendors sexually if and when they failed to give them bribes.

The female hawkers then however revealed that they could not report the cases for fear of further victimization.

A report titled ‘A Cry for Justice’ by the Independent Medico-legal Unit (IMLU) which highlighted the plight of informal business people in Nairobi in 2013 noted:

“The concept of justice is alien in the interaction between hawkers, small scale business operators and city authorities.”

It further  recommended that the Nairobi City County to come up with a short and popular version of the by-laws in both Kiswahili and English languages to ensure that the “do’s and don’ts” reflected therein are well understood by vendors.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero promised that thorough investigations would be carried out into the matter.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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