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Street boys back in Nairobi, bullying women for cash

Council askaris arrest a street boy. The boys have been accused of harassing women. [File, Standard]

NAIROBI: The bad old Nairobi nightmares of the 1990s seem to be back! Street boys are back and are harassing women in the streets of Nairobi. Families are slowly and surely coming back to the central business district and making it their home.

The street boys, mostly in their teenage years and walking in groups, approach women going about their business and harass them for money or little favours. They hang around eateries like Dominos on Kenyatta Avenue, Debonairs near Nakumatt Lifestyle and Pizza Inn on Moi Avenue and are also spotted in areas that are mostly frequented by women like BestLady shop on Moi Avenue.

They run after people, especially women, borrowing money and food and hurling insults and unprintable words at those who don’t “help” them.

Maureen Okore laments, “I totally hate them! One cannot leave any eatery in the CBD in peace any more. You must swiftly stuff your takeaway in your bag or risk having it snatched from your hands.”

Says another city woman, Hellen Wakamwe, “I witnessed a lady being abused by chokoras around Pizza Inn yesterday. A week ago I was confronted by one near ‘bus station’ at around 8pm asking me for money. When I told him I didn’t have any, he showed me a handful of human waste on his right hand and threatened me.”

Hellen says she told him that she was broke and stressed up. “I felt so relieved when he turned and peacefully walked away. We all need to do something about this menace.”

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Another lady narrates how the street boys harassed her sexually, before two gentlemen intervened and saved her the embarrassment.

“Oh God, those street children really mess up this city! We need another Matiang’i or a Michuki to drive this madness out of the CBD,” quips Alice Mutheu. Nairobi residents blame this menace on city county askaris.

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