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Court orders Nairobi hawkers out of Nairobi streets

Hawkers operating from the city centre have been ordered to move to designated places within the city.

A commercial court on Monday said that the “traders cause immense suffering” to other street users and thus should move out.

“As correctly pointed out by lawyer Titus Koceyo for the Nairobi City County all other users of city streets suffer undue hardship, inconvenience and are subjected to chaotic environments due to hawkers spreading their goods without order,” chief magistrate Peter Muholi ruled.

Mr Muholi who dismissed two cases filed by the hawkers through lawyers Elizabeth Muthoni Karanja and Sheila Mugo seeking to restrain County Askaris from harassing, arresting or interfering with their operations at Plot Zero along Moi Avenue and also along Tom Mboya Street.

He stated that county government officers are mandated to ensure “there is good environment of doing business, hence tasked with ensuring there is order; licence all business and generally be in charge of their counties.”

Declining to bar city askaris from confiscating goods from the traders, Mr Muholi said the hawkers cannot be allowed to “operate from all corners of Moi Avenue or Tom Mboya Street.”

Mr Muholi said any loss suffered by the hawkers failing to access their trade can be remedied through damages and advised them “to engage the licencing organ on approvals and allocation of specific areas of trading.”

Lawyers Karanja and Mugo for the over 500 hawkers had urged the court through their seven representatives to restrain the city county askaris from interfering, harassing, intimidating, unlawfully arresting or confiscating the hawkers’ goods or items while at their designated areas at plot zero.

“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 the city county which is tasked with the responsibility to ensure law and order is maintained,” ruled Mr Muholi.

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