This afternoon, Kenyans on Twitter ( KOT) were up in arms after a video went viral showing Kisumu City council officers, commonly known as “Kanjo” or “askaris”, dragging a woman behind a moving pick-up truck along a tamarc road.
The woman, Beatrice Magolo, a resident of Rabuor Vilage in Kisumu, as usual, was hawking at the street to earn a living.
Seeing the painful act, Boda boda riders decided to protest while increasingly following the officers.
Sadly, it is alleged that the Askaris took the woman to a police station for booking instead of an hospital for medical check-up.
Speaking shortly after being freed, thanks to peoples’ power, Beatrice narrated that she is a widow whose only crime was hawking by the road to earn a living for herself and her four children.
She added that she was forced to venture into hawking after the County (through Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o) destroyed their stalls at the stage.
“Asubuhi nilikuja kuuza. Sasa kanjo vile walinipata kama nahawk, nilikuwa natembea huko side ya General hapo, nilishtukia tu wamenizingira wote na pickup. Wakaanza kuvuruta mali yangu kwa kichwa alafu wakaanza kunivuruta niingie kwa gari nikakataa (I came here in the morning to sell. When county council officers found me hawking, while walking besides General, suddenly, they all surrounded me with their pickup. They began to drag away my sales from my head. When I refused, they decided, to pull me into the car),” she narrated to a Standard Media Group journalist shortly after the ordeal.
“Halafu Nyumba akashika mkono wangu akiwa kwa gari…kuna mwingine anaitwa Wiki akaanza kusukuma matako yangu niignie kwa gari nikakataa. Waksema watoe gari. Wakaanza kunivuruta na gari, (Nyumba then held my hand while he was still on top of the vehicle…Another officer called Wiki decided to push my buttocks to enter the vehicle but still I refused. They then decided to speed off while dragging me behind the pick-up,” added Beatrice while crying.
While raising their voices against this heinous mistreatment, KOT castigated the ‘Kanjo”, terming the act as inhuman and barbaric.
“A woman was caught hawking tomatoes along the road in Kisumu, the county of @AnyangNyongo . The kanjo askaris tied her behind a pickup and dragged her along the tarmack road and they cheered. . Is it a crime to be poor in this country? Why haven’t anyone been arrested?” Tweeted @JumaG
Another Tweeter user, Cyrprian Is Nyakundi (fan), said; “These Anyang’ Nyong’o goons in the name of Kisumu County Askaris should be arrested for subjecting this hawker to such a traumatizing ordeal and potentially causing her physical injuries ! Dragging someone like a bag of potatoes?”
Beatrice is a mother of four; two boys and two girls. While two are no longer going to school, the third born(girl) is a Form 1 student at Rae Girls while the last born is a class 1 pupil at Modern Academy.
Source say County Askaris, especially from other Counties like Nairobi, are fond of harassing hawkers and traders. Many are always arrested, their goods taken away and at times even being fined.
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Silas Odhiambo is the Founder of Silvan News, Reporter and Editor working side-by-side with teams in the field to shape, write and produce unique and dynamic stories for Silvan News’ TV, website and social platforms.