Governor Sakaja bans hawkers, street families from Nairobi’s footbridges

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 13 Nov, 2022 18:57 | 3 mins read
Azimio Sakaja
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja at a past event. PHOTO/Courtesy

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has banned hawkers and street families from Nairobi's footbridges.

Speaking at AIPCA church in Dandora, Nairobi county on Sunday, November 13, 2022, the outspoken governor stated that the move will help curb the spate of street crime.

The county boss assured the affected traders that the county government will allocate them appropriate places to work from.

"To make sure that there is security there were street families that were staying there and we have cleared them, we have cleaned the bridge, the fire department has come with its pipes and nobody will be allowed to conduct business to live on our bridges and fly-overs," he said.

"If you want a space for trade we will find you a space for trade but not in a public utility like that." 

Additionally, Sakaja threatened armed robbers terrorising residents in Nairobi and vowed to deal with them after he lost a close friend to the thugs.

The county boss disclosed that his administration was seeking plans to deal with the menace.

While recounting the loss of his friend to the thugs, the county boss pleaded with the youth terrorising residents to stop the heinous act and vowed to offer them job opportunities.

"Vitu mbili zitafanya uwe adui yangu, kuchafua Nairobi na kuingia kwa 'crime'. Vijana wa Nairobi mnaniangusha, wachaneni na hii maneno, mtaumia…we are serious," he stated.

"Nitawapea nafasi za kazi na biashara, wacheni kuibia watu. Nimepoteza rafiki wangu 2 weeks ago kwa kudungwa kisu…Nitakutana na IG Koome kesho, ili tuwe na suluhisho ya hii crime,"he added.

At the same time, the governor also urged parents to counsel youths against engaging in criminal activities.

Spate of crime

The latest comes amidst the spate of crimes witnessed in the city. A section of Kenyans have taken to different social networks to call on relevant authorities over the resurgence of criminal gangs terrorizing residents.

Notable leaders such as former Kiambu governor William Kabogo also raised concern over the matter and subsequently asked President William Ruto to intervene.

"We must now unite more than ever against crime. We cannot be spectators of criminal gangs terrorizing Kenyans as we watch. We must take up our space and say enough is enough. If we don't stop this now there's gonna be a big problem for our country," he stated.

"This is the beginning of a very serious problem, if not dealt with ruthlessly, we’re in for big trouble as a nation. Rule of law is all we need period," he added.

Ruto speaks on muggings

Earlier Ruto asked the National Police Service (NPS) to deal decisively with cases of insecurity such as muggings and banditry.

The Head of State said the police service was well-resourced and independent to execute its mandate.

“Muggings, cattle rustling or other cases of insecurity must stop,” he said.

The President was speaking at State House, Nairobi, when he met the new Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome who took the oath of office on Friday, November 11.

While calling for professionalism in service delivery to Kenyans, the President asked the Inspector General and the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) to work together.

“We want a professional police service; the sticky issues of ethnicity, nepotism or cronyism should no longer exist,” he noted.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki and Deputy Inspector General of Police Noor Gabow were among senior state officials who attended the meeting at State House on Friday.

IG Koome warns gangs

Similarly, the IG warned those advancing criminal activities against innocent people noting that stern action will be taken against perpetrators.

On banditry and cattle rustling activities that have rocked the northern part of Kenya in the past few months, the IG reiterated his desire to have these illegal activities classified as terrorist acts.

He took over office from Gabow who has been acting IG since August 2022 following the retirement of Hillary Mutyambai who left the service due to a medical condition.

On Tuesday, November 8 during his vetting, Koome promised to transform the police service and offer protection for all Kenyans irrespective of region, tribe, or political affiliation.

Koome promised to not only initiate reforms at the NPS but to also stop extra-judicial killings which he said will not happen under his watch as he will ensure that human rights will be respected.

He assured the joint committee that he will always engage other investigative bodies such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to ensure that Kenyans get the best services as well as avoid conflicts.

The new police boss has served in the police service for the past 31 years, having been enlisted in the then Kenya Police Force in 1991 as a Police Constable.