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Judge refuses to jail city askaris over harassment claims

A judge has declined to sentence to prison seven Nairobi County employees accused of defying an order stopping them from harassing hawkers in the city centre and confiscating their merchandise.

Rejecting the plea, Justice Isaac Lenaola said the 25 hawkers failed to prove that the seven City Inspectorate Department staff were served individually with the order granted by Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi in March 19, 2015, which they allegedly defied.

The hawkers had sought to have Mr William Kagongo, Mr Stephen Waweru Njoru, Mr Patrick Misigo, Mr Charles Akoko, Mr Jairus Busweti, Mr Lochenia Ighot and Mr Akas Aban be jailed for breaching the order barring them from interfering with their businesses.

The county employees through lawyer Titus Koceyo argued that they were not aware of the order by Justice Ngugi.

Mr Koceyo accused the hawkers of forging orders by superimposing names of hawkers who had not filed any case in court against the county government to enable them trade in areas they had not been designated.

He had further defended the seven saying: “Besides forging a court order, the hawkers also forged licences issued by the county government allocating them streets they were allowed to operate.”

Rejecting the application in his ruling, Justice Lenaola said there was no evidence to show that the count workers were served with the orders. This he said dealt a death blow to the hawkers’ application.