Bill calls for creation of hawker licences

Hawkers in Nairobi's CBD
Hawkers in Nairobi's CBD

By Edna Mwende

A new bill by the Nairobi County Assembly is proposing the creation of Directorate of Trade Licensing that will be responsible for issuing permits to hawkers operating within and outside of the Central Business District (CBD).

The proposed bill dubbed the Nairobi City County Trade Licensing Bill, 2018 and which has already gone through the second reading at the county assembly also proposed that hawkers operating within the CBD pay a monthly fee of Ksh 500.

According to a news report by the Business Daily, if adopted; the proposed Directorate of Trade Licensing will issue permits that capture the goods hawked, the restricted hawking locality and the hours of operation.

“No person shall act as a hawker unless he or she is in possession of a valid hawker’s license unless they operate a business exempted from licensing. A hawker shall be required to produce his or her license on demand for inspection by the enforcement officer at all times,” reads the bill in part as report by the Business Daily.

The bill which was sponsored by Kariobangi South Member of County Assembly Robert Mbatia also proposes that hawkers operating regularly outside of the CBD pay a daily rate of Ksh 30 and annual fee of Ksh 15,000 for hawkers displaying their goods on vehicles.

The proposed bill also contains a section that will see small informal sector traders like street vendors, shoe shiners and cleaners pay the county Ksh2,500 annually,  a decline from the current annual fee of Ksh5, 000.

The Nairobi County Government has in the past struggled to control the influx of hawkers within the CBD with opinions from the public being split on whether the hawkers should be allowed to operate or be relocated to a designated area.


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