Senator Crystal Asige
Image: COURTESY

Nominated Senator Crystal Asige has requested a response from the Standing Committee on Trade, Industrialization, and Tourism regarding the County Government of Nairobi's harassment and eviction of street vendors, particularly those with disabilities, from the Central Business District (CBD).

Senator Asige charged the committee with compiling a thorough list of street vendors with impairments in all counties, including their locations and gender breakdown.

“…on the harassment and removal of street vendors with disabilities from the Central Business District of Nairobi by the County government of Nairobi,” she said in part.

 

She demanded an explanation for the County Government of Nairobi's harassment and displacement of disabled street vendors from their approved business locations to back streets and alleyways.

The senator also questioned if the merchants were given proper notice and addressed the likelihood of similar removals in other counties

Furthermore, Asige stated that the committee should produce a report on the findings of any public participation sessions including street sellers with disabilities about their removal from the Nairobi CBD.

 

The committee shall also investigate the facts surrounding the intimidation, assault, and tear gassing of disabled street sellers by county authorities, as detailed in their petition to the County Government of Nairobi on November 14, 2023.

Finally, Asige charged the committee with establishing recommended relocation sites for street sellers with disabilities by County Governments across the country, as well as providing information on the accessibility and safety elements in place at the new locations, as well as the timetables established for this exercise.

Last week, Senator Asige took part in protests for disabled hawkers in Nairobi County, as they aired their grievances about being mishandled and mistreated by county Askaris.

Speaking during the protest that saw hawkers living with disabilities converge at City Hall, Asige challenged the county Government to act on its policies and treat everyone equally.

“I don’t understand why the County government of Nairobi would push people with disabilities away from CBD when they are doing their honest businesses - trying to look for livelihood.

"They are trying to empower themselves, their families, and their children. People have said severally that they don’t want to see disabled people begging in the streets and I’m here to say that we don’t want handouts, all we need is our rights to be respected. That is all we are asking for and that is why we are he today,” Senator Asige said.

The disabled community in Nairobi held peaceful demonstrations outside the office of the governor on Tuesday 14th, 2023 to bring to his attention the unfair treatment of disabled hawkers in Nairobi.

More than 50 disabled people slept outside Sakaja's City Hall office on Tuesday after they held protests earlier against alleged harassment by the Nairobi Inspectorate officers, 'kanjos'.

They even petitioned the Senate to summon Sakaja over the alleged harassment by county askaris.

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