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Traders laud Sakaja’s move to ban hawkers from CBD pavements

The move by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to bar small traders or hawkers from the pavements and carriageways within the Central Business District (CBD) has been hailed by a section of Nairobi residents.

The traders in some of the shops, and stalls have welcomed the move, saying that they have been affected for years and their attempt to seek help has never been given attention by the previous administrations.

As the order enters the second day on October 27, 2023, matatu operators along Tom Mboya Street shared their happiness, saying they can easily manage passengers as they board and alight.

“Saa hii kuna nafasi kubwa. Naweza simama hapa tu na kuita abiria bila kusumbiana na hawkers. Governor amefanya kazi mzuri hapo. Shida ya hawa hawkers wanakuja wengi sana (There is enough space as you can see here, I can easily direct passengers without any confrontation with the hawkers. The governor did a good job. The problem with hawkers is that they come in big numbers and occupy entire space),” a tout who didn’t want to be revealed said during pot-check of the situation.

She also stated that they were being annoyed by traders who blocked their shops from selling outside, yet they do pay for operating licenses.

“Sisi tunalipia kanjo lakini hawa wanafunga njia ya kuingia kwa duka. Customers wataingiaje ama kuona vitu kweli.”

One of the Public Service Vehicles (PSV) drivers said the move had restored order and he could easily park to pick up passengers, unlike before, where a small error could cause an accident since hawkers were selling on the roads.

From the observation, pedestrians walking on the pavements along Tom Mboya Street, and Moi Avenue are moving with ease, and the area is not congested as always.

The situation around the Archives looks better and not even a single hawker can be spotted as inspectorate officers continue to patrol in the streets.

The area around Ambassador Hotel has also been cleared, same with the Fire Station area but a few hawkers could be seen playing cat-and-mouse games with inspectorate officers.

Also, some of the areas around Archives which are usually filled by hawkers are now being used by taxi drivers.

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