I will stop ‘kanjo’ harassment, Sakaja promises Nairobi residents

A Nairobi County Council Pick-Up vehicle loaded with hawkers merchadise

A Nairobi County Council Pick-Up vehicle loaded with hawkers merchandise parked along Kenyatta Avenue.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Governor Johnson Sakaja has pledged to put an end to harassment of small scale traders in Nairobi by county inspectorate officers, commonly known as “kanjos”.

Speaking during his swearing-in ceremony, the new Nairobi governor said he will stop harassment of traders and hawkers who do not have designated areas to sell their wares.

Mr Sakaja also maintained that no trader will again be chased and bungled into the rusty City Hall vehicles by county askaris as part of his promise to build a Nairobi whose hallmark is order and dignity for all.

“The days of innocent traders and hawkers plying their trade in the streets because the administration has not provided for them areas to trade being chased and bungled into rusty contraptions by my good officers in the county are over,” said Mr Sakaja.

He said that every Nairobi resident must be given an opportunity to conduct business peacefully and make a living for themselves.

“We must give our people the opportunity to do business, to thrive and be who they are supposed to be because everyone wants just about the same thing, to go about their business peacefully and make something for themselves and guarantee their children just like us, a future,” he said.

The UDA party politician also said the wanton demolition of structures by the Nairobi County government will also be a thing of the past.

“Our people deserve dignity. The days of leaving your house and coming back in the evening to find a demolished structure are over,” said Mr Sakaja.

Sakaja swearing-in ruto photo Anne Kananu

Nairobi governor-elect Johnson Sakaja receiving the instruments of power from outgoing governor Anne Kananu on August 25, 2022 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

He said his focus will be on building a new Nairobi that will be a first class county without second class citizens. A county, he says, that is led by a government not focused on those with millions of shillings in their accounts but those with millions of ideas in their minds.

The fourth governor of Nairobi also committed to ensure there is access to clean, reliable and adequate water, adding that decent and affordable housing is not the preserve of a few but the right of all.

“Today we commit to delivering a new Nairobi where the true spirit of devolution is realized. Where we in the government report to you the people. That is what we have started and that is where we are going,” he said.

President-elect William Ruto, who was in attendance, challenged Mr Sakaja to deliver on the commitments Kenya Kwanza had made to Nairobi residents in terms of market infrastructure, collection and garbage management, transport infrastructure for Nairobi, as well as making sure that every hustle in Nairobi counts.

“I will be on hand to support you. We have already discussed making the rivers of Nairobi places of opportunities, enterprise and business as opposed to what they are today, a place of filth and raw sewage,” he said.

For his part, Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri added that they will also focus on streamlining the licensing regime, building systems to make it easier for Nairobi residents and business people to not only receive services but also pay what is due to the county government.

“My role as deputy governor shall be to assist my boss to deliver on his mandate and all the pledges we made during the campaign. We will do our best to deliver everything,” he said.