Eastleigh hawkers go to court to fight eviction
About 6,000 hawkers in Eastleigh have lost a bid to temporarily stop an imminent eviction from their hawking zones by traders.
In a suit filed against the Nairobi County government, the Inspector General of Police and the Eastleigh Business District Association, the hawkers told the court that they risk losing their livelihood.
Through the Eastleigh Hawkers Association, they argued that the government had promised to allocate them designated hawking areas but they find themselves being haunted by police arrests and a looming permanent eviction.
They claimed that they have been carrying out lawful businesses since 1992 and paying Sh 50 as daily fees yet the traders complained to the county government that hawkers are a nuisance and sought for their eviction.
Lawyer Livingstone Ombete for the hawkers said that Governor Evans Kidero assured them that he would see to it that they get designated areas and that they would not be removed from their hawking zones.
“In the interest of justice we humbly request that this matter be heard urgently and a temporary order be issued to the county government, the IG and the Eastleigh traders from evicting us from the designated area until this case is heard and determined,” Mr Ombete said.
But High Court Justice Joseph Onguto said the Nairobi County government should be allowed to respond to the suit before he could issue an order stopping the alleged eviction.
“It is not very clear what designated area is being referred to in this case, I would advise that you let the sued parties tell us about this first but I agree to certify the matter as urgent,” Justice Onguto said.
The hawkers are based on the Eastleigh’s 1st and 2nd avenues.
In August, traders protested against the invasion of hawkers claiming that they had invested lots of money to build their shopping mall whilst the latter set up shelters by the roadsides and outside the malls which block the entrances to their premises.
The traders have accused the hawkers of interfering with their businesses and they therefore want them evicted.
Consequently, the move has forced the hawkers to move to court to seek reprieve while demanding that the county government comes to their defense on the matter to do with eviction.
The traders complaints allegedly started way back in 2013 but the hawkers claim that if they are permanently evicted they will have been denied a right to carry out business and earn a decent living.