City Hall will introduce a monthly fee of Sh500 for hawking in Nairobi’s city centre if a Bill seeking to make legal peddling of goods in the Central Business District (CBD) is adopted by the County Assembly.
The Bill – Nairobi City County Trade Licensing Bill, 2018 – which went through second reading Wednesday last week, proposes licensing and various charges for hawkers and street vendors operating within and outside the CBD.
It proposes that hawkers plying their trade within the city centre will be required to pay Sh500 every month while those outside will have to pay Sh30 daily.
On the other hand, hawkers displaying their goods on vehicles will be required to pay an annual fee of Sh15,000 while those without will pay half of that, Sh7,500. Currently, they pay Sh5,000 every year.
The new charges will come into effect after all the hawkers have been issued with licenses that will be issued by a licensing department – the Directorate of Trade Licensing – that will be established to be in charge of issuing the licenses.
The trade license will capture the goods hawked, the area within which the hawking shall be restricted and the hours during which the goods may be hawked.
The bill, which has been sponsored by Kariobangi South MCA Robert Mbatia, reads in part:
“No person shall act as a hawker unless he or she is in possession of a valid hawker’s license unless they operate 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.”
Hawkers menace in Nairobi has been a thorn in the flesh for other licensed business owners and residents who accuse them of blocking streets, pavements and their businesses with City Hall failing severally in its attempts to keep them off the street.
The Bill also contains a clause that will see small informal sector traders like street vendors, shoe shiners and cleaners will pay the county Sh2,500 annually down from the current annual fee is Sh5,000.
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