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Kidero Defends “Killer” County Askaris

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city askarisNairobi Governor Evans Kidero has defended the county inspectorate officers against allegations of killing hawkers, saying criminals are responsible for the murders.

In a statement on Saturday, he said criminal gangs have “infiltrated trading areas impersonating hawkers and masquerading as county personnel” leading to tension between traders, county askaris and the gangs.

Kidero took issue with video footage in which a hawker is stabbed to death.

He said the incident took place in 2013 before his administration took over from the now-defunct City Council of Nairobi.

Kidero said the footage is erroneously attributed to the current administration, which “has been exercising caution while dealing with issues of hawkers”.

The governor said enforcement officers have themselves been victims of brutality in the hands of criminal elements.

“Nairobians are hereby advised that Nairobi City County staff and in particular enforcement officers are required to be in uniform and carry along with them some form of identification,” he said.

Kidero said his administration has made attempts at dialogue rather than confrontation in handling matters concerning licences for hawkers to operate in the city.

He said his administration has reached an agreement with the National Police Service to ensure that traders have security against extortionist gangs.

Last week, three askaris linked to the killing of hawkers were charged with murder.

Alfred Ogesi, Protus Sakala and Julius Ochieng pleaded not guilty before High Court judge Luka Kimaru.

THE STAR

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