37 Hawkers from Kitengela town in Kajiado have been forced to spent several nights in remand after they failed to raise shs 50,000 cash bail.
Some Kitengela residents said the hawkers are members of an illegal gang operating in the area.
The hawkers were caught on camera destroying the new Kitengela market structures and looting cement from a the construction site.
Some of their relatives said Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko had promised to bail them out but later pulled out after the court fines which stood at shs 1.9 million were too high for her.
“The guys went to court and pleaded guilty thinking they will be given lenient bond terms. However, they were shocked when they were all ordered to pay a cash bail of shs 50,000 each,” said a relative to one of the hawkers.
The hawkers had defied the Kajiado County Government’s directive to move to the designated market site and clear the streets.
They were charged with malicious damage to property by a Kajiado court.
Some hawkers said the MP could not be reached on phone.
During the confrontation with the Kajiado County Askaris, the hawkers pelted both Kenya Police and Inspectorate officers with stones.
Today Saturday, is the third day they are spending in remand.
The new Kitengela market will cost shs 120 million.
According to the charge sheet, the hawkers stole building materials worth Sh 700,000.
They also stole mobile phones from local shops and mugged passersby of their personal effects.
According to some residents, Ms Tobiko has opposed the construction of the market while Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has vowed it will continue.
According to Kajiado County Inspectorate Services Act (2019) , resisting arrest is an offence.
The act spells out a 6-month jail term or a Sh 100,000 fine for the offence of obstructing inspectorate officers from carrying out their duties.
If the MP doesn’t pay their fines as promised, they will serve six months in jail as per the judgement on Thursday.
On Wednesday, when the market was destroyed, Governor Joseph Ole Lenku said the majority of traders in Kitengela wanted the ultra-modern market to be completed and vowed to ensure the looters faced the full force of the law.
When contacted for comment, MP Tobiko told Hot News that the claims are meant to tarnish her good name.
“Hot News has been writing a lot of bullshit and hogwash about me as dictated by its paymasters. Why don’t you go ahead and write the same filth fed to you as you so wish?” she said.