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WATCH: Priscilla wa Imani promotes ‘no-hawking in upper Nairobi CBD’ campaign

Social media sensation Priscilla Wa Imani, best known for whistling to direct attention to herself or various other things, caused a stir along various locations in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) when she participated in raising awareness that there will be no hawking allowed in upper Nairobi.

In videos captured by Nairobi News, Wa Imani was spotted accompanied by several County Council officers and staffers as she walked along the streets beginning from City Hall, whistled to call attention to herself and then proceeded to announce that there is a new by-law in effect, banning hawking in certain parts of the CBD as part of Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja’s initiative to make Nairobi work.

“There will be no hawking in upper CBD (whistles) from Moi Avenue to Uhuru Highway. Let’s support the no hawking campaign in upper CBD. We are using the hashtag #LetsMakeNairobiWork,” Wa Imani is captured saying in one of the videos.

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For years now, Nairobians have been complaining about the hawking menace in the CBD with hawkers and motorcycle operators notorious for taking over pedestrian footpaths to lay out their wares for sale and leaving pedestrians with no space to walk.

Nairobians have also been complaining that they are often forced to walk on the busy roads as they dodged the matatus that have also overrun the city center.

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With this hawking menace, Nairobians also complained of increased insecurity as criminals take advantage of pedestrians having to squeeze together to pass through narrow footpaths especially during rush hours.

During his campaigns, Governor Sakaja pledged to move hawkers to designated zones outside the CBD. Hawkers have also been at loggerheads with business owners who complain of hawkers blocking customer access to their shops.

However, Sakaja has since gone back on his plans and allowed hawkers to operate in various CBD alley ways and lanes that are demarcated to allocate each hawker a space to operate. Governor Sakaja said dignity of the hawkers will be improved and that pedestrians will have an easy time in the CBD. This remains yet to be seen.

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