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Hawker who lost an eye blames police

A hawker who lost an eye during riots now blames police for his predicament and is demanding justice.

Boniface Muchiri was discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital on Wednesday afternoon after a week. Doctors fitted him with an artificial eye.

“It happened at the Globe Cinema roundabout. A city inspectorate officer who is known to me told a policeman to shoot me because I was one of those hawking. I was shot in the eye and neck with rubber bullets,” he said.

This happened during running battles which have become common within the CBD as inspectorate officers seek to keep hawkers away from streets.

According to the CBD Hawkers Association, another seller was also admitted to KNH the same day after suffering gunshot wounds. The association decried the manner in which law enforcement officers were doing their work.

“They use glass bottles, stones, metal bars, machetes and knives to disperse hawkers. They are supposed to arrest these people and take them to court,” he said.

The hawker said he will not report the matter to police because he believed he will not get any justice.

When contacted, Central OCPD Patrick Oduma termed the claims false.

“They are the ones who brutalise the police and county askaris when they resort to using the weapons,” he said.

He accused the hawkers of defiance.

“Police just offer support to the council officials. In addition, hawkers provoke them. They should follow the law and move out of the CBD,” said Mr Oduma.

He said affected hawkers report cases of attack after two to three days, making investigations difficult.

The Director of City Inspectorate Hillary Wambugu directed all those with complaints to report them to the police for investigation.