Nairobi shop owners plan to protest over chaos from hawkers

Hawkers have taken over the city streets

Traders accuse NMS of failing to end congestion on the streets

By The Weekly Vision

Top leaders of the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) have come under heavy criticism from shop owners who accuse them of failing to contain an army of hawkers and street families that block shop entrances making it difficult for them to sell anything merchandise.

Nairobi shop owners association chairman Mr Farouk Azul and secretary Mr Peter Muoki said the traders took issue with county askaris for the endless cat and mouse games between them and hawkers which scare away customers. “Why can’t the NMS find a permanent solution to this hawking business? We understand they are also trying to earn a living but NMS should find a better way for them, the NMS should also clean up lanes and give spaces to hawkers.

A survey by The Weekly Vision established that hawkers have been organized into ‘cartels’ that pay bribes to senior county askaris for protection from harassment

The traders have given NMS a 7-day ultimatum to clean up the city or else they hold massive city protests that will bring the city to a standstill. “Protests will continue daily,” the traders warned.

A survey by The Weekly Vision established that hawkers have been organized into ‘cartels’ that pay bribes to senior county askaris for protection from harassment. A bitter Farouk says it’s now difficult to run a shop or any legal business in an organized and orderly manner because of the “army of hawkers and street families” plaguing Nairobi. Street families have made the rot and squalor in the city even worse; they breed freely, eat and defecate in the open while “NMS does nothing.”

Another problem is the chaotic noise made by matatu touts along Tom Mboya, Ronald Ngala and Globe cinema terminuses. Shop owners, bars, hotels and restaurants said the noise from this vehicle and their crews was too chaotic for orderly businesses to thrive. They said the noise was driving away customers who prefer a quiet orderly environment. They said patrons can’t follow evening news on TV or relax without being assailed by deafening horns and noise emanating from touts.

Tusker stage on Ronald Ngala and near Ambassador and Old Nation was described as the worst noise polluters while National Archives had been invaded bold “ngeta” gangs stealing phones and cash from pedestrians waiting for transport back home from work.

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