Muranga traders protest hawkers’ invasion

Saturday, September 14th, 2019 00:00 | By
Street hawkers. Photo/Courtesy

Traders in Murang'a town are up in arms over increased presence of hawkers on the streets.

The traders claim hawkers are giving them unfair competition as they are selling similar products, which they are displaying outside their premises.

John Kamau, one of the traders, said the town has been turned into a hawking paradise despite it being the county headquarters adding that they have been paying a lot of money for licenses and other levies yet the hawkers pay a daily charge of Sh20.

"Some of us might be forced to close down our businesses because the hawkers are giving us a hard time," he said.

He now wants the hawkers to be confined at a specific place where they can be selling their wares.

"We want them out of the streets so that they can stop blocking our businesses," he added.

Last year, Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria presented a hawkers' bill in the Senate which seeks to end running battles between hawkers and the county governments.

The bill stipulates that each county government shall come up with a street vending zone plan and submit it to the County Assembly for approval.

According to the proposed law, County Executive Member for Trade shall set up a street vendors unit or department that will be charged with prescribing business fees and other registration charges.

The department which will be headed by the director of the trade will also maintain a national registry of street vendors and advise the Cabinet secretary on matters relating to street vending.

The department will also prescribe the minimum standards to carry out street vending in consultation with county governments and relevant stakeholders.

“The unit will work closely with relevant bodies responsible for planning and infrastructure for the proper planning and design of street vending zones within major infrastructure areas in the country.

It will also collect and utilize data relating to street vending for planning and efficient management of the vendors,” the Bill reads in part.

The bill also proposes the establishment of a comprehensive database of hawkers and street vendors countrywide and the county tribunals to listen to appeals by hawkers and street vendors if they are aggrieved by county government decisions.

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