A section of Hawkers in Eastleigh yesterday held a demo in the streets and disrupted business.
They demanded the sacking and arraignment in court of the Nairobi County Inspectorate officer in charge of Kamukunji Sub County.
They said that the officer, Stephen Waweru, has been collecting shs 1,000 from the hawkers as “protection fee”. Waweru has denied any wrong doing.
They chanted “Waweru must go”
“Waweru has terrorized hawkers. He has made our life difficult. He has led Inspectorate officers in extorting and harassing us. He issues instructions that every hawker must pay shs 1000 to occupy the space he or she occupies,” said Samuel Muraguri the hawker’s leader.
Shop owners also complained that Waweru has been taking the cash from Hawkers and “protecting them from being evicted from the fronts of several shops,”
“Hawkers come and lay their goods infront of our shops. We cannot get customers since our shops become inaccessible,” said Ali Omar a shop owner.
Another hawker Mary Wambui said that they Mama Mboga’s are also forced to part with shs 100 each daily yet they are at times evicted by City Hall officers under Waweru’s command.
Hawker Nicholas Kunyua told Hot News that Waweru has perfected the “art of extortion” whereby at times, he is receiving money from the Shop owners to evict the hawkers he purports to protect and that at other times, he is receiving money from the same hawkers so that he doesn’t order their eviction from the fonts of different shops.
When contacted for comment, Waweru said claims that he has been receiving cash from the hawkers or shop owners are false.
“That’s just saying. People can protest but they won’t intimidate the County officers from carrying out their jobs.Let investigations be done and the truth will come out. Inspectorate officers won’t be cowed,” he said.
As the protest went on, City Inspectorate officers based in Kamukunji left.
Anti riot police officers arrived and dispersed the protestors.