NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – A number of hawkers thronged the Milimani Law Courts Monday morning in jubilation as two City Hall guards who are facing murder charges were detained until Wednesday to enable investigations to be completed.
Protus Sarara Marigo who is the head of operations and Julius Ochieng who is a sergeant at operations were arrested on Friday following an operation by Flying Squad officers.
They are accused of stabbing a hawker to death in an operation to eject them from city streets and the hawkers described this as a relief since they have been affected by the actions of the two.
“There are people who call them ‘squadi mbaya’ because all they do is to kill us hawkers. I am so grateful because I am a victim. My husband was killed by these people. He was stabbed and I have four children whom I am taking care of alone and I am still a hawker,” Magdalene Njeri, who operates within the Central Business District stated.
They say that many of them have been adversely affected by attacks from the County Government guards and are happy action has finally been taken.
“When I heard that they had been arrested, I became so happy that I cried since I knew that God had heard our prayers. When I sat down selling my wares, I had not seen him and he got a hold of my leg and pulled it behind me and broke it. I still remember him, he is the brown man who was on the dock there in court,” Milcah Mwikali, another hawker within the CBD stated.
The guards will be remanded at the Kilimani Police Station until their case comes up for mention on Wednesday.
Their arrest followed an order from the Director of Public Prosecutions to the police.
The askaris and traders have often been engaged in violent confrontations in a bid to eject the hawkers from the City Centre.
Police and council officials blame the situation on some city politicians who are politicising the issue by inciting the traders.
Police say crime increases whenever the traders are allowed onto the streets.
Apart from the hawkers, there are street families who at times attack and rob pedestrians.