Nairobi City County Government Governor His Excellency Johnson Sakaja has today, Wednesday 29th November 2023 suspended indefinitely his Chief Officer in-charge of Security, Enforcement and Compliance Tony Michael Kimani over incessant tendencies of sabotage with the un-ending mismanagement of hawkers, matatu operators and other traders operating within the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).
Sakaja, in a circular to the county chief of staff David Njoroge immediately suspended Tony Kimani and appointed, in acting capacity, Eva Wairiuko, as the new Chief Officer for Security, Enforcement and Compliance noting that all Nairobi people must be treated with dignity and in a humane manner.
The Nairobi Governor acted following a series of events and incidences where traders have been put through in humane treatment contrary to his directives pointing to possible acts of sabotage and insubordination by county staff led by the chief officer.
Other senior security officers including the director of City Inspectorate were also suspended with William Kangogo appointed in acting capacity to the position.
Sakaja has in the past said that his administration recognizes the small enterprises of hawkers which put food on the tables of thousands of hawkers in the CBD and that he has no intentions of evicting them.
The Governor has maintained that to ensure that the CBD is decongested without driving hawkers out of business, his administration has designated 29 back street lanes for hawkers but Tony has been using his position to destabilize their operations noting that when egg traders were harassed he had to sent Njoroge to compensate them and lately when a minor groundnuts trader was harassed, he took personal intervention.
The enforcement Chief Officer Tony Kimani has been the only person who can drive hawkers out of business even as the county seems to have aged a war against traders from a particular ethnic background contrary to Governor Sakaja’s aspirations for a working City where everyone has an equal opportunity.
“These hawkers have been on the streets for years. Now we have made 29 back street lanes for then to operate from so that even the shop owners have their space to operate endind running battles with the hawkers,” Sakaja said.
Assuring hawkers that they are at liberty to work, Sakaja recognized that hawkers businesses are legitimate and promised that the back street lanes are only a small step towards the bigger plan to build big markets in Nairobi which will accommodate most of the hawkers.
“Everybody’s job is important because it feeds their families. My administration is committed to ensure that the running battles between hawkers and county officers are a thing of the past and our position as an administration is that we recognize everybody’s hustle unlike other regimes over the years and we are building 12 new markets to expand business but to start with, we cannot build markets in one year so we have 29 streets designated for hawkers fitted with roofs and electricity and we have enumerated them so they are free to work,” Sakaja said.
Tony Kimani has in the recent weeks been in all bad books after it emerged that he has been frustrating the Governor’s work from harassment of hawkers to running parallel enterprise in Eastleigh and the CBD where he has allocated himself open spaces which he leases to businesses and charges the cess fees, money which ends up in his pockets denying the county government revenue.
Hawkers in the CBD have been an unhappy lot with their treatment, arrests, and confiscation of goods which is led by the enforcement officers under instructions from Kimani. The Governor expressed disappointment in Kimani stating that he appointed him to ensure the welfare of traders and hawkers in Nairobi County’s Central Business District are taken care of but Kimani has spearheaded the harassment of the traders.