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Sonko to hire 300 new officers

Sonko's Deputy, Polycarp Igathe, resigned on Friday last week.

Earlier before his resignation on Friday, Polycarp Igathe had castigated some staff at the city county headquarters, terming them too old to deliver, an assertion the governor’s office now holds as true.

“Wouldn’t you rather ask how quickly and efficiently the team can clean the city? The average age of the NCC worker is 55 years and they were put to the task but we… saw the piles of accumulated garbage and had to deal with it urgently as we await the tender process.” Igathe had claimed earlier.

'Askaris shortage'

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On Tuesday, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko announced plans to recruit 300 new city officers to assist in county operations. A Senior Inspector at City Hall Mr Peter Mbaya said the County is facing serious shortage of the 'askaris' adding that many who are serving are not performing effectively.

"The last time the County Government employed city askaris was in 1988. Majority of the city askaris are aged hence they cannot operate effectively," Mr Mbaya said.

He added: “We are overwhelmed. The number of city askaris working in the CBD is very small. The night operation team has only 15 askaris and it is almost impossible for them to handle all the traders within the city centre.”

Oppression

During his inauguration speech at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, governor Sonko vowed to put to an end what he termed as oppression of city traders, by building more hawking and market space in the city, but the situation has worsened in the recent past.

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"The greatest challenge is the mama mbogas. On our side male askaris cannot handle them and we have very few women askaris. At times we attempt to arrest them but the public becomes aggressive and even threaten to beat up the askaris for harassing the mama mbogas with children," Mr Mbaya said.

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