Nairobi Traders Watch Helplessly as Kanjos Demolish Shops

Traders operating near the Nairobi bus station were on Tuesday left in disbelief after Nairobi County askaris popularly known as kanjos descended on their business establishments and demolished their shops.

During the raid, the officers wielding sledgehammers were depicted tearing the shops apart which attracted the ire of business owners.

According to reports, the shops being demolished were allegedly illegally erected and had eaten into bus station reserve.

Some of the traders could be heard pleading with the Kanjos not to demolish the structures since they rely on them for their daily livelihoods.

A screengrab of a county council employee demolishing shops in Nairobi bus station on November 28, 2023


Sammy Kimatu

However, the unperturbed kanjos carried on, with a few of them dishing out instructions on how to conduct the entire exercise.

“Demolish everything but do not destroy the containers,” one of them instructed.

Even as the demolitions went on, some of the traders could be seen rushing into the shops in an attempt to salvage their inventory.

Others looked on helplessly knowing that their livelihoods had been impacted negatively in a major way.

The affected traders tried to explain that they had occupied those structures for years but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

The incident has irked a section of Kenyans who complained about how the ruling Kenya Kwanza government is doing nothing to help them despite riding to power on a ‘hustler’ narrative.

Others called upon Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to set up structures to accommodate small-scale traders in Nairobi.

They also asked him to come up with better ways to relocate the traders from the prohibited areas to avoid the recurring issue of the county government constantly demolishing their structures.

Others questioned why the county government allowed the structures to exist in the first place and why they were allowed to operate and pay business licenses for so long.

In October, Kenyans criticised the Nairobi County government after kanjos descended on vendors in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).

The officers confiscated trolleys belonging to smokies and eggs vendors.

Photo of Nairobi CBD Smokie Vendors Cart Vandalism on October 18, 2023


Ndungu Nyoro

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