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Hawkers barred from Eastleigh’s busy Yusuf Haji Avenue for second day

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For the second consecutive day, hawkers were barred from Yusuf Haji Avenue in Eastleigh.

City County askaris forcefully removed them from the busy road, leading to an unusual scene of half-empty street that was other days packed with hawkers and stalls.

Hundreds of hawkers sat along the pavements of the malls, watching as Kanjo officials patrolled the area. Motorists and pedestrians enjoyed the newly available space, a stark contrast to the usual congestion caused by the hawkers.

The Kanjo officials dismantled makeshift stalls around Seventh Street and arrested anyone who attempted to stop them or filmed their actions.

Many hawkers, who rely on their businesses for income, watched helplessly as their livelihoods were disrupted for the second day.

Several mothers voiced their concerns to The Eastleigh Voice, expressing the impact on their ability to support their families.

The usually busy road was half empty on Thursday as Kanjo officials patrolled the area. (Photo: Abdirahman Khalif)

Fardosa Odowa, a divorcee who used to sell carpets in front of Day to Day Shopping Center, said she might be unable to feed her three children if this continues.

"I am a divorcee and this was the only way I was making a living for my three children, it is sad really," she said.

Some young men who are hawkers also shared their grievances, stating that they have never experienced such treatment and are now left without work.

Abdullahi Yarow said, "Where do we go? If this continues, we won't even be able to afford food."

Shop owners, however, supported the actions of the Kanjo officials. They accused hawkers of causing chaos and blocking the entrances to their shops.

They also claimed that hawkers sold goods at cheaper prices, drawing customers away from the established stores.

The usually busy road was half empty on Thursday as Kanjo officials patrolled the area. (Photo: Abdirahman Khalif)

Qasim Abdulle, who runs a shop at Olympic Shopping Complex, said, "You see, customers can now access my shop. Hawkers were blocking the way."

The Eastleigh Business District Association supports the eviction of hawkers from Yusuf Haji Avenue and all other roads in Eastleigh.

The association claims that hawkers have violated an agreement and deserve to be removed from the streets.

According to the agreement, hawkers are allowed to start their businesses from 5 pm in Eastleigh. However, some hawkers have recently begun parading their wares as early as 9 am.

Mohamed Adan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Eastleigh Business District Association, told The Eastleigh Voice that hawkers might be banned permanently from Yusuf Haji Avenue.

Speaking from his office, Adan said hawkers do not pay rent, tax, or business registration fees but still seek the same rights as shop owners.

The interconnected nature of Eastleigh's businesses means the removal of hawkers could have broader implications.

The money hawkers earn is often spent at local shops and restaurants, while shopkeepers might buy clothes from hawkers or the malls.

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