Nakuru hawkers decry harassment by County askaris

Hawkers in Nakuru County have raised alarm over what they term harassment from county enforcement officers.

Addressing media on Tuesday after holding peaceful demonstrations through the Nakuru’s CBD to the Governor’s office, the group of hawkers are blaming the county government of Nakuru for not having their welfare at heart.

They say there has not been clear mechanisms concerning how they can remit their levies to the county government of Nakuru but instead the county enforcement officers have continued to harass and even arrest them.

In what seems to be history repeating itself from the first county government, the Hawkers now calling on the county government of Nakuru to hear their grievances and address the same.

They claim that once arrested by the county enforcement officers they are forced to pat with up to shs.3000-money they say is beyond their reach as hawkers since the business does not earn them much.

“The county askaris are really harassing and arresting us in the name of we have not paid the levies to the county yet the county itself has not come out clear on what should be done. We want Governor Lee to step in address this matter” said the hawkers led by John Mwangi.

It will be recalled that during the first county government of Nakuru that was led by the then Governor Kinuthia Mbugua, hawkers lamented over harassment.

But this did not deter Kinuthia Mbugua from evacuating them from the Nakuru’s CBD-an issue that led to bad blood between Mbugua and the hawkers.

And with the new development the hawkers say they have no otherwise but their grievances be heard by the county government of Nakuru led by Governor Lee Kinyanjui.

Addressing media after a lengthy closed door meeting that brought together county officials and the hawkers’ leadership, area MP David Gikaria called for an amicable solution into the matter.

While noting that such conflict arose way back in 2004 when he was a councilor, Gikaria called on county government to dialogue with hawkers so as to avert similar incidents.

The legislator vowing to work closely with the hawkers’ leadership to ensure their rights are safeguarded.

“As leaders we will not allow this conflict to continue. I call upon the county government to ensure amicable solution” said Gikaria.

The Nakuru Town East Legislator was accompanied by Simon Ole Nasieku form the hawkers’ association as well as Nakuru town businessman and politician Hezron Manyara.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria addressing hawkers outside the Nakuru county headquarters.