Police and county officers clashed with hawkers and boda boda operators in Nairobi city centre on Friday during a crackdown dubbed 'Operation Fagia Nairobi County'.
Gunshots and cries of help rented the air the officers, hawkers and boda boda operators engaged in running battles.
The crackdown started on Thursday as Nairobi’s inspectorate officers led a sting operation where illegal structures were demolished, hawkers and boda boda operators flushed out from the central business district and its surroundings.
Over 80 hawkers were arrested and more than 10 motorcycles seized.
The hawkers were taken to Kamukunji and Central police stations awaiting to be charged at the City Hall Court Monday.
The operation was carried out in several area including, Tom Mboya street, Country Bus, Nyamakima, Kirinyaga road, Globe, River road, Racecourse road, Wakulima and Railways, and Ronald Ngala.
Director of operations at Nairobi City Inspectorate Department Peter Mbaya said that the cleaning was necessitated by the upsurge in the number of hawkers in the city streets, increased number of illegal structures and activities in the central business district.
He cited congestion caused by the boda boda operators and increased number of street families and beggars as other reasons for the operation.
ODER IN THE CITY
“There has been public outcry over insecurity and disorderliness within the central business district and its surroundings as such, as part of our safety and crime prevention strategy, we are embarking on this mission aimed at restoring order within the city,” Mr Mbaya said.
There has been an influx of hawkers in the city centre since Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko allowed them to access to sell their wares on selected parts of the city as from 2.30pm daily.
The county also banned boda boda operators from the city centre last month in the wake of increased cases of insecurity in the CBD where they were to drop their passengers in areas outside the CBD such as City Stadium and Ngara.