Nairobi County Government has banned the collection of fees from hawkers within the city in a memo released to the public on Sunday.
In the new directive, the biggest beneficiaries will be hawkers outside the Central Business District who have been paying 30 shillings on a daily basis, transporters of red soil, manure and confectionaries who have been paying 50 shillings daily and those offloading goods who have been paying 500 shillings. Kiosk owners also have something to smile about as the weekly 250 shillings they have been paying has been scrapped.
According to the memo, “the collection of the following fees and charges domiciled in your sector must be stopped forthwith until the county government comes up with a convenient and reliable method of the same,” making every day for a hawker in Nairobi a Sunday with no worry of the infamous Kanjo popping up from nowhere.
Despite celebrations following the announcement, many people feel that the declaration might not stand the test of time since it is not gazette as required by the existing Nairobi County By-Laws. “That was a roadside declaration that cannot hold any waters. If the governor is serious, then let him gazette them,” said one of the hawkers.
In August this year, shortly after assuming office, the Governor made yet another declaration saying that photographers within the city were free to conduct their businesses without being harassed. The declaration was never documented and photographers are still being harassed. The declaration made by the governor on hawkers cannot be implemented without it being discussed and approved by the County Assembly of Nairobi because the Finance Bill will have to be altered.
Last month, Nairobi County Assembly, through the governor announced that it would be moving all hawkers from the CBD to the backstreets, something that analysts have said that will hit a dead-end because of poor planning on how hawkers will be moved to those regions. During the same month, the county government had announced a ban on all public service vehicles from accessing the city. The ban was to be implemented on the 27th of September. It was lifted even before it took effect.