Kidero: No hawker has been killed during my reign
Nairobi county Governor Evans Kidero has distanced his administration from a viral video clip that captured the killing of a hawker by suspected city askaris.
In a statement on Saturday, Dr Kidero said the clip was recorded before his administration took office.
“This government has been exercising caution while dealing with the issue of hawkers,” he said, adding that the “long-standing controversy that carried over from the previous regime.”
Dr Kidero said his administration is committed to dialogue with hawkers and had followed due process including giving sufficient notice of evictions.
The Governor’s statement however is at odds with an ongoing case at the High Court in which two city askaris, Mr Alfred Ongesi alias Brown and Mr Julius Ochieng, have been charged with killing Mr Irungu Kamau, a hawker, on September 2013 at Nyam Hotel along Duruma Road Nairobi.
The High Court has since issued a warrant of arrest against a third suspect ,Mr Ambani Akasi, whom the police said is on the run.
Recently, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko claimed that 19 hawkers had lost their lives in the past 12 months. He gave a shocking narration of how a female hawker was arrested on December 31, 2015, raped and bottles inserted into her private parts.
Mr Sonko also cited the case of a hawker by the name Kazee who was arrested by city askaris and got beaten and killed.
But in his statement, Dr Kidero blamed criminal gangs that are masquerading as county askaris and who he claimed are extorting members of the public.
Dr Kidero also said that all Nairobi City county staff are required to be in uniform and carry a form of identification.
He told hawkers not to be reluctant in making formal complaints to the police when requested to do so.
“My County government has agreed with the Inspector General of the National Police Service that protection will be provided to the business community against harassment by extortionist gangs,” the statement read.
“My government is committed to upholding human rights and lives of all residents of Nairobi without exception. We will not hesitate to take the necessary steps as permitted by the enabling legislation to ensure law and order is maintained for the safety of every Nairobian.”