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PS Susan Auma seeks help in tracing young hawker harassed by ‘kanjo’

The Principal Secretary (PS) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Susan Auma, is asking netizens to help find a young hawker who was filmed crying uncontrollably after his groundnuts were spilled on the ground by unnamed Nairobi County Government officials.

In the clip, the young boy can be seen collapsing after an encounter with urban askaris, popularly known as kanjo.

In the undated clip, which has since gone viral, the young hawker who appears to be in his late teens can be seen crying to the askari while hiding his face after she knocked down his stock as a crowd gathers around the distressed boy.

The askari was also captured holding the lid of the container with the groundnuts scattered on the floor.

The clip has since angered many Kenyans online with some even enquiring about the boy’s identity in a bid to help him.

Among them is the PS who now wants Kenyans to help her locate the hawker.

“Dear compatriots, I implore your assistance in locating this hustler whose endeavours and livelihood have been detrimentally impacted,” she wrote on her official X account.

According to the PS, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja should establish secure operational environments for micro and small enterprises.

“Respected at County Government of Nairobi led by Governor Sakaja Johnson, I earnestly urge for the formalisation and integration of micro and small enterprises, coupled with the establishment of secure operational environments. It is imperative to preserve and nurture these enterprises, recognizing that their demise does not enhance Nairobi’s affluence and prosperity,” she wrote.

Some Kenyans on X were not happy and called on the governor to swing to action and instill some discipline in his employers.

The County Executive Committee Member in charge of Trade Ms Maureen Njeri did not respond to the situation despite of several attempts to reach her office for comments.

Incidents involving Nairobi’s ‘kanjos’ have been rampant recently, with many viral videos trending online showing various unsavoury altercations between the City Hall men and ordinary Kenyans.

Last month, Sakaja was forced to apologise after his inspectorate officers harassed hawkers during the day in the streets.

This follows an incident that was witnessed during the day, where the city inspectorate officers were seen engaging in running battles with small traders or hawkers as they cracked down on the traders who were operating without documents from the county government.

He directed his office to ensure that each hawker was released unconditionally and handed a compensation fee.

“I have ordered the immediate release of all confiscated items, apologized to the traders and personally compensated each of them to the tune of 10,000 shillings each,” Sakaja said then.

He added that the action from his inspectorate officers was uncalled and that his administration has continually implored officers to treat Nairobi residents with dignity.

Further, the governor promised to take disciplinary action against the officers who were in charge of the operation.

The apology from the governor came after criticism from Kenyans on social media who blamed his office for treating small traders without dignity.

The situation happened against the governor’s promise to hawkers that under his leadership, hawkers would not be arrested since they are genuine hustlers who are struggling to feed their families.

In another incident that also went viral, after a woman took a Nairobi county government askari for what she called a “ride” after he got into her car to teach him a lesson.

The woman later identified as Ntazola Gloria was heard engaging in a heated, expletive-laden exchange with the ‘Kanjo’ who she claimed forced himself into her car for allegedly violating parking rules.

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