NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – The Thirdway Alliance Party has given the Nairobi County Government 14 days to convene a meeting and create dialogue with hawkers to find a solution to their problems, failure to which legal action will be initiated.
In a press briefing with the media, Collins Oneko from the Thirdway Alliance Party said the County Government has often played politics in accommodating the hawkers without offering them tangible, durable and acceptable options and solutions to their plight.
“Both the National and County Governments have caused unimaginable strife among these hawkers who for the lack of better options have had to conduct their businesses in constant risk and fear of being swept off the streets by the city askaris anytime,” said Okeno.
The alliance has called on the government to make its position clear with regards to lands that had been earmarked for the development of the city markets of Gikomba, Muthurwa, Ngara, Parklands, City Market and Kariokor set aside for the expansion, development of market places which have since been grabbed, making the process of the expansion and the modernization of these markets untenable.
“Whereas it is the prerogative duty of the government to create job opportunities for our youth and women, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this priority has been relegated to the empty promise space,” said Okeno.
The Thirdway Alliance Party also called on the County Government to investigate counterfeit receipts that are in circulation and are being issued to unsuspecting hawkers within market places.
Oneko said this causes confusion and leads to squabbles between hawkers and county askaris resulting to lose of goods worth millions and many getting injured.
He added that the city county should adopt an electronic system like the one used in paying for parking fees in the collection of market charges to minimize cases of corruption.
“Whenever such raids occur the hawkers not only lose their wares worth millions of shillings but often get hurt and some maimed in the process,” he said. “They do not have an alternative employment and are being treated as if they were foreigners in their own land.”
The alliance emphasised the importance for both the county and national government to look into constructing a multi-storey building in market places to accommodate the increasing number of hawkers in the CBD.
Other set of recommendations put across by the Alliance include:
” All county askari harassments should be stopped forthwith
” The hawkers should refrain from encroaching restricted areas during these discussions
” A binding MoU be drawn between both parties to govern the operations of hawkers within CBD
” Counterfeit receipt books being issued to traders be tracked to source as the government is losing lots of revenue daily through these unscrupulous city clerks
The alliance as well emphasized the need to address the plight of the Nairobi county city hawkers appropriately and in a timely manner.