Yesterday, the internet was awashed with a disturbing and unfortunate scene from Kisumu City. A woman was seen behind a speeding county pickup, half-hanging half-dragging. That few seconds video was the talk of day, with tweeter bogons trending it and Facebook wing mounting pressure on the county government to act or get shut.
Several county officials swiftly gave statements on the same, condemning the act. Abala Wanga, the city manager, met Beatrice Atieno Magolo, the woman on the clip as seen in the statement made by The County Public Communication Department. The statement reads: “It is important to note that the acting city manager, Mr. Abala Wanga has today afternoon met the injured female hawker identified as Beatrice Atieno and allocated her a stall at Chichwa Market to so that she can move out of the streets.“
To wrap it up, an official statement from Kisumu Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, who was away in Nairobi for council of governors meeting, that fateful day, came just in time, suspending the county officers that were directly involved. ”As investigations continue on this matter with urgency it deserves, I have directed the city manager to immediately suspend from duty all the officers who were involved in this incident”, reads part of the governor’s
statement circulated to media houses.
Nyong’o fired a warning shot to county enforcement officers and urged them to carry their duties with respect to human rights and humane-sense, and at the same time, appealed to wananchi to ensure they adhere to regulations to make the running of county activities as peaceful as possible.
Those who witnessed the entire drama has different versions of what transpired, Odindo Boyi, a bodaboda operator , claims that the woman was hawking in undesignated street when the city askaris confiscated her goods. As the vehicle was taking off, she tried grabbing her goods back, forcing the city askaris to hold her hand as she struggles to let go. Another version from Rose Achieng, a witness, claims that the woman was arrested and forced in the county pickup, and she tried to jump out as the vehicle was speeding away. But all those versions matter less now, unless we can get the whole happenings and see for ourselves, for the domesticated hen is never blamed when the wild hawk takes her chicks even in the forest where the hawk lives.
But this isn’t the first case in Kisumu County; neither is it the first county to witness such an ugly scene between county enforcement officers- Kanjo- and the traders – hawkers. Nairobi has constantly had their fair share of such, with mainstream documenting such happenings. Siaya County, a neighbour of Kisumu County, was forced to suspend all the enforcement officers mid-February after numerous complaints from members of the public accusing them
of rogue behaviour and illegal activities. Uasin Gishu County isn’t spared too. The list goes on and on. At one time, every major town in almost the 47 Counties has their dark moments.
Someone might be forced to ask when and where did the bad blood between the two groups was transfused? That the county, under devolution, isn’t even ten years old? Can we discuss
that bad blood without emotions, as a country and a people?
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