NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 21- Hired youths forcefully evicted owners of a public toilet on Accra Road Sunday, as wrangles over the multi-million shilling business intensified.
The youths claimed their “boss” is the new manager of the public facility but they could not provide documents to prove it.
“This toilet is dirty. We want to make it clean and even have some music in it,” one of the youths, who seemed influential over the rest told Capital FM News.
While he said it is about cleanliness, it is public knowledge that toilet business in the city rakes in millions of shillings.
The youths faced resistance from the previous owner, forcing police to lob teargas in a bid to restore order.
The group then went ahead to erect iron sheets around it as owners of adjacent shops tried to rescue some of their goods.
“It is Abbas taking over,” a trader was heard shouting.
“Are we lesser Kenyans or not? Why is the government allowing this to happen?” a woman would be heard angrily asking.
Two women who seemed agitated were later picked up the county askaris.
All this happened as Sam Karanja watched what used to be his source of income for 15 years slipped into other people’s hands.
“This is impunity,” he told Capital News.
“There are powerful politicians who have interests in it. Impunity has finally ruled Nairobi. These people don’t have any documents. Police say they are not aware of what is happening.”
He claimed that some influential businessmen and politicians have been trying to take over the management of public toilets after they discovered how lucrative they are.
“How can such things happen without any proper documentation?” he asked.
In early July, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko had warned of plans to revert all city public toilets to the county, a declaration that was met with fierce resistance and criticism until his disowned it.
A 2017 taskforce recommended the city needs an additional 150 toilets from the current 68. Of these, it recommended 50 to be within the CBD which has only 17.