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City Hall set to reform the notorious City askaris unit

Nairobi County has embarked on reforming its inspectorate department whose image has been dented by actions of its staff, the City askaris.

The department, under which the notorious county askaris fall, has been blamed for tainting the image of the Dr Evans Kidero – led government.

As part of the reforms, the askaris will be issued with new uniforms that will cost City Hall Sh80 million to replace the grey ones. The new uniforms will include numbers, similar to those of the police, identification badges and boots.

The County Secretary Dr Robert Ayisi on Thursday said city residents will see the major changes in the near future.

The inspectorate department is tasked with fire-fighting, enforcing city county laws.

The move comes barely a week after KTN aired an investigative series showing council askaris harass city residents, including hawkers.

Dr Ayisi said human rights training for all askaris will be part of the reforms.

“We started off with culture change and now we are moving to training and rebranding,” he said.

The County Secretary said they will also partner with the National Police Service to recruit 650 new askaris before the end of this financial year.

Nairobi County has over 2,000 askaris and at least 200 are expected to retire by the end of this year.

Last week, Dr Kidero suspended five county employees filmed as they extorted money from hawkers in the investigative series.