Principal Secretary, State Department for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Susan Auma, asked Kenyans to aid her in tracing a street vendor whose stock was destroyed by Nairobi County askaris, popularly known as kanjos.
On Wednesday, the PS condemned the incident and urged Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to launch a crackdown to weed out rogue askaris.
"Dear compatriots, I implore your assistance in locating this hustler whose endeavors and livelihoods have been detrimentally impacted," she stated.
The PS also implored Sakaja to integrate and formalise micro and small enterprises and secure operational zones for them.
According to PS Auma, creating a conducive environment for SMEs was key to nurturing young entrepreneurs for the country's good.
"Effective leadership necessitates the provision of guidance and viable alternatives. Let us champion the significance of small businesses in pursuit of delivering the plan," she added.
Comedian turned activist Eric Omondi also reached out to the young man who broke down after crossing paths with the kanjos.
"When they destroy, we rebuild. I am looking for this boy. But remember, our time is coming," Omondi, who heightened his philanthropy works after the August 2022 elections, stated.
The online viral video depicting the hawker crying uncontrollably after the askaris destroyed his stock elicited mixed reactions.
In the video, the groundnut seller was pictured seeking solace in the arms of a wellwisher while staring at the goods spread across the street.
A section of Kenyans joined PS Auma in condemning the behaviour of the county officials and the motive that fueled them to jeopardize the hawker's livelihood.
"This is so heartbreaking, I feel the pain of the young boy. Why would anyone do that in this harsh economy?" A concerned Kenyan lamented.
Reports, however, alleged that the youthful man lacked requisite licenses and permits to operate within the CBD.
In early October, Governor Sakaja vowed to restrain his askaris after they were accused of harassing smokie and egg vendors.
Meanwhile, Members of Parliament are mulling a plan to pass the Nuts and Oil Crops Development Bill 2023 which requires Kenyans dealing with nuts, including coconut, ground nuts, and macadamia, to seek permits before venturing into the trade.
Kenyans will be required to obtain licenses to process and sell nuts and oil crops, a move likely to hit the sector that has been affected by brokers and cartels. Traders lacking necessary permits will risk a Ksh1 million fine or be jailed for two years or both.