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Sakaja’s ‘kanjo’ inspectors cause havoc in Nairobi

By Winnie Onyando November 23rd, 2023 3 min read

Hawkers plying their trade in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) have always been at a crossroad with Nairobi County inspectorate officers.

In the most recent incidents, several hawkers, most of whom were selling boiled eggs were apprehended, and their wares confiscated in October 2023 in a move that attracted public outcry.

Here are some of the standout incidents.

Smokie, Boiled Eggs Crackdown in CBD

In October 2023, Nairobi County government inspectors descended on the capital in an ‘operation’ that left behind a trail of destruction.

They vandalised trollies the hawkers were using to ferry the food and destroyed some of the wares, leaving the food strewn across the streets.

Other trollies were impounded.

These images attracted significant condemnation from Kenyans online, who pointed an accusing finger at Governor Johnson Sakaja’s administration for the mess.

Sakaja responded by acknowledging his employees went above board in the operation. The county boss also offered to compensate all hawkers affected by the operation.

‘Let’s go baby’ drama

In another incident during the same month, a Kenyan motorist went viral after a video of her dramatic altercation with an unidentified Nairobi city council askari went viral across the internet.

In videos that were shared widely across all social media platforms, Ntazola Gloria is heard engaging in a heated, expletive-laden exchange with the ‘Kanjo’ who she claims forced himself into her car for allegedly violating parking rules.

Ntazola is then seen driving along the Nairobi Expressway as she questions the askari while at the same time swearing at him, calling him names, and telling him that she was going to drive him around all day in a bid to teach him a lesson.

“Mbona nakuwanga hivo? Hiyo ilikuwa kitu ya kunikalia kwa gari yangu? Tunaenda na wewe mahali naenda,” she’s heard telling him amid swears.

“Nakupeleka hadi kwangu saa hii, hii gari hautoki ndani. Mbona unaingia kwa gari yangu? Wewe ni traffic police? Mnasumbua Wakenya, watu wako na stress. Nakupeleka hadi Ngong town!”

Nairobi Kanjos harassing a disabled woman

A distressing video showing Nairobi City Council employees harassing and assaulting hawkers living with disabilities left a bad taste in the mouths of viewers who called for the intervention of Governor Johnson Sakaja.

In a video shared on X (formerly Twitter), and which has been seen by Citizen Digital, at least four Nairobi city council askaris, popularly known as ‘Kanjos’, are seen roughing up one PLWD, who sprawled on the ground, crying for mercy and criticizing the officers for their brutality.

As a crowd gathers, another female hawker living with a disability is heard repeatedly asking one askari why he had to take away her mobile phone.

“Mnipatie simu yangu! Umesema simu yangu ichukuliwe kwa nini wewe? Ni wewe umechukua!” she hisses at an askari.

Beside her, yet another disabled female hawker is seen rolling on the ground, saying “Hatuendi! Hatuendi!”

As the commotion escalates, the askaris are seen attempting to drag the hawker who had been rolling on the ground earlier, even as she screams and groans for help.

“No, no, no… What is this!? Let’s show the Governor,” a voice behind the camera is heard saying before the commanding askari says, “Na watu watoke hapa!”

Kenyans on X have been deeply incensed by the video with many castigating the city council officers for their savagery and apparent cruelty meted on the women.

Kanjos pour a hawker’s groundnuts

In the latest incident on November 22, a distressing incident captured showed a man crying after the Nairobi City Council, commonly known as “Kanjo,” poured down his groundnuts.

The heart-wrenching footage reveals a man, overcome with emotion, watching in despair as his groundnuts are callously discarded, only to be trampled upon by passersby in the chilly weather.

The scene underscores the harsh realities faced by street vendors and hawkers, whose livelihoods are often at the mercy of municipal authorities.

The man’s tears serve as a poignant symbol of the challenges faced by those striving to make ends meet, only to see their efforts shattered by the actions of city officials.

Also read: Storm in Uasin Gishu as Governor Bii, Senator Mandago clash in public