Hawkers and mall owners row takes tribal and political twist
DP Ruto has reportedly brokered a deal between the hawkers, the mall owners and the Nairobi government to have City Hall provide an alternative market for the vendors
The row pitting hawkers and mall owners over market space in Eastleigh has taken a tribal and political twist, after the vendors protested against the involvement of DP William Ruto.
The DP reportedly brokered a deal between the hawkers, mall owners and the Nairobi government to have City Hall provide an alternative market to the traders. The hawkers were removed from the streets after the mall owners complained they had blocked entries to their premises, hurting their businesses.
In the meeting chaired by Ruto and reportedly attended by Governor Evans Kidero, it was agreed the hawkers be relocated to the former Nyayo wards in Pumwani.
A source, however, told the Star the hawkers, mainly from one community, rejected the offer and now blame Ruto for their eviction. The hawkers accused Ruto of meddling in a matter “that does not concern him.”
Yesterday, Eastleigh Hawkers’ Association chairman Jeff Oteba said they met the DP at his Harambee House Annex office on October 2, and agreed they be relocated to the Nyayo wards.
He denied the ethnic angle. “Yes, the meeting was held and we attended. The county told us to give them a week to revamp the place but to date, nothing has happened. That is why we have been protesting,” Oteba said.
Trade executive Anne Othoro said the traders have rejected two markets. “We gave them a market in Pumwani and they rejected it. We offered them Muthurwa, but they also rejected it,” she said.
“What do they want us to do? What we have said is that they will not be allowed back on the streets. Roads in Eastleigh are not for hawkers.”
Yesterday, riot police dispersed the hawkers, who had converged for protests. The hawkers have been demonstrating since September, when they were kicked out of the streets and their structures demolished.
Riot police patrol Eastleigh on September 2, after mall owners closed their shops for what they said was interference by hawkers