In an explosive revelation, hawkers of the Nairobi Central Business District have urgently sought help from Nairobi City County Governor Johnson Sakaja. They want him to step in and eradicate the actions of a conman posing as their chairman – Francis Gachanja – who is blatantly violating their human rights and perpetuating corruption.
The imposter, Gachanja, shamelessly claims to be the hawkers’ champion in the CBD. He has allegedly transformed this position into his personal cash cow by collaborating with unscrupulous county officers to extort money from these hardworking hawkers.
Hawkers say that Gachanja has been illicitly selling spaces within the CBD streets for a steep amount of Ksh 50,000. Those unable to pay this unfair price face forceful eviction. Gachanja was never elected as their chairman, and his actions conflict with Governor Sakaja’s earlier stance that hawkers should not be removed while 29 back street lanes were being constructed for their businesses.
Desperate for justice, the hawkers are appealing to Governor Sakaja to liberate them from the tyranny of this self-appointed chairman. They’ve reported incidents where Gachanja evicts some hawkers and uses senior county government officials’ names to sell these spaces to other hawkers—a common practice on Tom Mboya Street and Moi Avenue.
Hawkers also question why Gachanja receives special treatment. While city inspectorate officers confiscate their goods during raids, Gachanja’s egg trolleys remain untouched. They allege that he deceitfully uses names of high-ranking officers in the governor’s office and forges documents to support his corrupt agenda.
Gachanja is said to be collaborating with rogue city county enforcement officers—nicknamed “Kanjo”—to control who is arrested during raids, exerting further power over the hawkers. These ongoing indiscretions led to the failed attempt by Gachanja and his accomplices to lease spaces on Moi Avenue, where Governor Sakaja intervened upon learning of their corrupt intentions.