Court dismisses hawkers’ plea to sell wares on Moi Avenue
Lawyer Koceyo says if they are allowed to operate without control, it would create a chaotic environment and subject other road users to undue inconveniences
The commercial court yesterday dismissed a plea by 500 hawkers to stop the city county askaris from barring them from doing business on Moi Avenue.
The court said the hawkers cannot be allowed to “operate from all corners of Moi Avenue or Tom Mboya Street.”
County lawyer Titus Koceyo said the hawkers’ did not state “the exact areas they were licenced to operate on Moi Avenue, which stretches from the Railways headquarters to Central police station”.
He said if hawkers’ are allowed to operate without control “it would create a chaotic environment and subject other road users to undue hardships and inconveniences”.
Lawyer Elizabeth Karanja, for the six hawkers’ representatives, had urged chief magistrate Peter Muholi to restrain the askaris from interfering, harassing, intimidating, unlawfully arresting or confiscating hawkers goods.
SCALES OF JUSTICE
She said the hawkers had obtained licences from the county government to sell in designated areas.
The hawkers said the licences allow them to operate at ‘plot zero’, which is the whole stretch of Moi Avenue and Tom Mboya Street.
But Muholi said county governments are mandated to ensure a good business environment for all traders. “Their officers are tasked with ensuring there is order,” he said.
Muholi said any loss suffered by the hawkers can be remedied through damages. He advised them to engage the licencing agency on approvals and allocation of areas for doing business.
“The loss that would be occasioned on the other users of the affected streets would be more immense and on a balance of convenience the scales of justice would tilt in favour of the city county, which is tasked with the responsibility to ensure law and order is maintained,” Muholi said.