Kidero vows to probe stabbing claims
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has promised that thorough investigations will be carried out into claims that council askaris assaulted and stabbed two hawkers who they had arrested during a protest on Saturday.
The hawkers, who had taken to the streets on Saturday to protest unfair treatment by council askaris, found themselves in trouble after the council askaris descended on them, beating them up ruthlessly.
“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, further alleged that the council askaris harass female vendors sexually if they fail to give them bribes.
The female hawkers, however, revealed they could not report the cases for fear of further victimisation.
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 notes:
“The concept of justice is alien in the interaction between hawkers, small scale business operators and city authorities.”
It recommends that the Nairobi City County should 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.
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