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January 19, 2019

Keep off Uasin Gishu affairs, Nakuru's Kinyanjui told amid hawkers' eviction row

Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno speaking in Eldoret on January 16, 2018. /MATHEWS NDANYI
Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno speaking in Eldoret on January 16, 2018. /MATHEWS NDANYI

Uasin Gishu leaders have asked Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui to keep off the county's affairs.

This is in the wake of the divisions arising from what Kinyanjui claims to be mistreatment of Kikuyu hawkers by Governor Jackson Mandago.

The governor is accused of targeting the community in the eviction of hawkers plying their trade in Eldoret town.

Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno, in a statement on Monday, said Kinyanjui and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri have no right to attack Mandago.

Read: Mandago caught up in row over violent evictions of hawkers in Eldoret

He denied accusations by Kinyanjui that Uasin Gishu county is profiling communities along ethnic lines in the evictions.

The deputy governor said the evictions were justified adding that security teams were dealing with criminals hiding among the hawkers.

"We are not an extension of Nakuru or any other county. We are an independent entity and cannot be dictated by leaders from outside," Chemno said.

He accused Kinyanjui and Ngunjiri of blowing up non-existent issues instead of seeking to first understand what went on during the eviction.

At least 12 hawkers were injured after inspectorate officials sought to forcefully remove the traders.

"We live together as one community in Eldoret and anyone cannot start lecturing us on what to do here. They should stop meddling in Uasin Gishu issues."

Kinyanjui and Ngunjiri reacted angrily to last week’s evictions accusing Mandago of discriminating against the Kikuyu community, many of whom are hawkers in Eldoret.

They said the hawkers’ problem might cause ethnic animosity if left unchecked.

Kinyanjui said some Eldoret residents now live in fear because of the violence meted out on the hawkers.

Ngunjiri wants the NCIC to probe Uasin Gishu county officials for ethnic profiling.

Chemno however, said the county has been offering conducive business environment for business people.

"In addition to building and improving market shelters in urban centers across the county, we have been lending low interest loans to hawkers' groups," the DG said.

He said three major hawkers' groups doing business in Eldoret have been given space in the markets, an exercise supervised by the groups' officials.

"All the hawkers operating in Eldoret are pooled in groups, regardless of ethnic and political inclination."

"Up to 5600 hawkers are registered in groups, and they have space in the modern shelters constructed by county," Chemno said.

He said some cartels, who are always revolting against the county were involved in selling drugs and illicit alcohol within the market space.

Read: Apologise over 'divisive' hawkers remarks, Kalenjins in Nakuru tell Kinyanjui

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