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Use of NYS to evict street families from CBD raises queries

Queries emerged Sunday as to who authorised the involvemnet of National Youth Service recruits in the ongoing clearing the city of street families.

This comes after complains from the public that the recruits were arbitrary arresting people and extorting money from them.

The operation began on Friday night.

Questions have also been raised as to where the recruits got the power to arrest.

The families were rounded up, bundled into trucks and taken to Joseph Kangethe Road Primary School on Ngong Road.

But even after the recruits were captured on television, NYS director Nelson Githinji said he was not aware of the operation.

He, however, promised to issue a statement on the matter soon.

“I have been away and therefore not in a position to comment,” he said yesterday.

Last week, Governor Evans Kidero said the families would be taken to a 40-acre piece in Ruai.

He said taking the families there had no link with the visit by US President Barack Obama.

He said it was part of cleaning the city.

He said moving the street families was a joint project between the county government and the Devolution and Planning Ministry.

However, during the weekend eviction, the NYS personnel were not accompanied by county askaris or the police.

There are claims that NYS did not inform City Hall before and during the operation.

Nairobi County Chief security Officer Francis Munyambu could not be reached for comment.

The governor said last week that City Hall would build a rehabilitation centre, a school and vocational training institution for the families.

“I will ensure that the children are able to access formal education and those above 16 will be trained in vocational skills,” he said.

The governor added that the county government would also ensure that a fully functional and equipped clinic was provided for the street families at the rehabilitation centre.

Beside the medical team, there will be psycho-social workers and other experts on hand to support the families and children.

Dr Kidero said the schools would eventually be centres of integration modelled on Starehe Boys Centre and School.

SOURCE: Daily Nation