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Court orders hawkers out of Nairobi CBD streets

A court has directed hawkers to operate from their designated areas instead of operating all over the streets of Nairobi’s CBD.

While dismissing a petition by over 500 hawkers to stop the Nairobi City County Askaris from barring them to trade along Moi Avenue and Tom Mboya Street, Chief Magistrate Peter Muholi said hawkers, “musts engage the licensing authority to allocate them specific areas.”

Mr Muholi said hawkers have been creating an unhealthy environment within the city.

The court directed the Nairobi City County to ensure that there is order within the central business district and that the law and order must be adhered to by all licensed businessmen and traders.


“Hawkers cannot be allowed to operate from all corners of Moi Avenue or Tom Mboya Street,” the magistrate ruled.

The court further ruled that the hawkers did not state the exact areas they were licensed to operate along Moi Avenue, which stretches from the Railway to Central Police Station.

Lawyer Elizabeth Muthoni Karanja for the six representatives of the hundreds of hawkers had urged the commercial Court Chief Magistrate to restrain the city county askaris from interfering, harassing, intimidating, unlawfully arresting or confiscating the hawkers’ merchandise while at their designated areas at plot zero.


Ms Karanja had told the court that the hawkers had obtained the required licenses from the county government to enable them carry put lawful business within the designated areas of the capital city.

The hawkers said licenses issued to them allowed them to operate at “plot zero” which is a whole stretch of Moi Avenue and Tom Mboya.

But in his ruling, Mr Muholi said all county governments are legally mandated to ensure there is good environment of doing business for all traders.

He however said any loss suffered by the hawkers failing to access their trade can be remedied through damages and advised them to engage the licensing organ on approvals and allocation of specific areas of trading.