- During the demos disable vendors spoke emotionally and said that they did not want to beg but just to provide for their families
- According to the hawkers, they have been lumped together with other able-bodied hawkers and kicked out of the CBD
For two days over 600 vendors from Nairobi who are living with disability thronged the entrance to Governor Sakaja’s office to protest against the decision to bar hawkers from the central business district.
The vendors deemed the decision as unfavourable and discriminatory policies imposed by the Nairobi County Government.
The traders,aslo claim to have been duly registered by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) and recognized by the city council since 2013 and 2014 decried neglect, especially during dispersals by city askaris (commonly known as Kanjos), claiming that their needs have constantly been overlooked.
“We have been set aside by the county when implementing policies. They do not consider people living with disabilities,” one of the vendors expressed.
The community also argued that past administrations demonstrated more leniency, a shift from the current regime.
“This new government does not recognize our existence,” they added.
The traders also underscored their commitment to advocating for their social and economic rights, warning that continued negligence would lead to further infringements.
“What we have to do is to have a dialogue with the county government because whatever they are saying is legitimate. What they are saying is that they’ve been discriminated against,” Ms Wamugu said.
However, their chants have since been ignored for no none from the governor office have addressed their plight
In October, a video circulated online depicted harassment by Nairobi City Council employees popularly known as ‘Kanjo’, towards disabled hawkers.
The video which went viral left a bad taste in the mouth of Kenyans, leading to public outcry.
Section 1 (a) of Article 54 of the Constitution mandates respectful treatment of persons with disabilities.
Additionally, Section 1 (c) of Article 54 advocates for accessible public infrastructure, a demand echoed by the disabled vendors for equal participation in economic activities.