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Hawker dies after no-show by Sonko Rescue Team

A city hawker succumbed to his injuries on Thursday evening after waiting in vain for the Sonko Rescue Team to take him to Kenyatta national hospital.

The 22 year-old hawker was allegedly shot by a policeman during an operation by city council askaris to flush hawkers from the city centre.

John Muchoki was injured by a bullet on his back at around 7pm ase council askaris chased out hawkers from the globe roundabout area.

According to Kim Waweru, chairman of the Hawkers Association, police who were accompanying city council askaris in the operation used live bullets and fired severally before aiming at the deceased.

“Muchoki was among other hawkers who were caught in the scuffle and as he ran away carrying his merchandise, he was hit on his back by a bullet,” said Kim.

RUSHED TO KIAMBU

Muchoki was then rushed to Kiambu District Hospital where first aid was administered, but he was referred to Kenyatta National Hospital.

“We took him to Kiambu because we wanted a hospital without a long waiting list as his condition needed immediate medical attention,” said Kim.

After referral, the hospital’s ambulance was away and the only available one was charging Sh5, 500, an amount that took the hawkers hours to raise.

“I tried seeking alternative aid from the Sonko Rescue Team that offers free ambulance services to Nairobians but they were not picking up the hotline,” said Kim.

At around 10pm, when the hawkers had raised the required amount, they boarded the private ambulance with Muchoki. He however died minutes after leaving Kiambu hospital.

“I had even texted Senator Mike Sonko on his personal mobile when I failed to reach his rescue team but he never responded. I believe if we had been assisted by his team, Muchoki could have survived,” said Kim.

‘ISOLATED INCIDENT’

When Nairobi News got in touch with Sonko Rescue Team to inquire what led to the inefficiency, Mohammed Hassan, the Secretary General of the team, said it was an isolated and an unfortunate incident.

“We apologise for what happened. Currently we only have three ambulances and thus only able to provide services to those who call us first. When a call comes in when the team is attending to another patient, it is likely that we won’t be in a position to help,” said Mohammed.

He added that the team is working on increasing its fleet to cater for the increasing number of callers who need their services.