Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko came face to face with the impunity of hawkers during a tour of the city centre on Wednesday.
The hawkers nonchalantly displayed their wares on streets, occasionally greeting the governor who passed on foot.
The hawkers had taken their places by 10am on Accra Road, Kenyatta Avenue, Tom Mboya Avenue, Moi Avenue, Aga Khan Walk and Ronald Ngala Street.
“It is not only the matatu sector that is being kicked out, it will also apply to hawkers who are operating in front of businesses that have licences,” Governor Sonko had declared on Monday.
At the time, he promised to meet the hawkers to strike an agreement on scheduled times and streets they can operate on.
HIDE AND SEEK
Daniel Mwangi, a scarf hawker outside ICEA building, said that they are always playing hide and seek with the city askaris thought some are lenient.
He noted Governor Sonko had instructed the inspectorate not to harass them, a directive that has emboldened them to continue with business as usual.
Speaking to Nairobi News, Nairobi County head of inspectorate Francis Munyambu said they have changed tack and now prefer to negotiate with the hawkers.
Mr Munyambu said they will no longer harass hawkers but instead urge them to leave.
“We are ensuring that the hawkers do not operate. A crackdown is ongoing, only this time it’s done without harassment. We are negotiating and talking to them first, if they resist we arrest them,” said Mr Munyambu.