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Disabled traders camp outside Sakaja’s office overnight in protest

The peaceful demonstrations involving street vendors have the second day within Nairobi’s Central Business District. (CBD)

On November 15, 2023, the hawkers camped outside Governor Johnson Sakaja’s office while demanding an audience. Some of them are reported to have spent the night at the county boss’s office.

They accused unnamed cartels at City Hall of interfering with their working environment and pushing them out of the CBD.

“The cartels control the Governor. That is why it is hard to meet him. But we are determined and will remain here until he shows up,” one of the hawkers told Nairobi News.

Nairobi County Disability Services Officer Jane Wamugu said they have received the complaints from the demonstrators and were preparing a report on the same to the County Director’s office.

“What we have to do is to have a dialogue with the county government because whatever they are saying is legitimate. What they are saying is that they’ve been discriminated against,” Ms Wamugu said.

Also, the county officer said that they will ensure that the operation licenses for the hawkers living with disabilities are waived to allow them to do their business.

Surprisingly, hawkers living with disabilities were not invited by the governor in the recent engagement with hawkers from the CBD.

“The county government had talks with hawkers, and they never invited people living with disabilities, so that means that they did not know what was discussed during that meeting and they are attributing the recent harassment by Inspectorate workers to the discussion that was held,” Ms Wamugu states.

Sakaja recently announced that all hawkers will not be allowed to operate in the CBD’s walkways and carriageways.

Additionally, hawkers are only allowed to trade within the CBD between 4pm to 10pm. Hawkers with disabilities have opposed these laws.

“How will I leave town at 10pm and get to Kibera? I cannot walk. I have children whom I need to take care of. We are asking the Governor to consider this,” said one of the hawkers.

Not even the early light showers could stop them from protesting.

The motorists using City Hall Way were made to make a U-turn since the road was not accessible after the hawkers blocked it.

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