The County Government of Kisumu has deployed county askaris to man traffic and boost security for visitors ahead of the 9th edition of the Africities conference to be held in the area next week.
Kisumu County Communications Chief Officer John Oywa said the askaris have also been tasked with removing hawkers from the streets to maintain the city’s aesthetics as over 6,000 delegates from across the world are expected to attend the conference.
Besides law enforcement, Oywa said the officials will also help in crowd management to ensure seamless flow of visitors and vehicles during the continental event.
All the askaris from the sub-counties have been recalled to undertake the exercise as visitors trickle in for the conference slated for May 17-22, 2022.
“They have the mandate to arrest hawkers and roadside traders. In extreme cases beyond their capability like failure of the public to comply with their orders we have directed them to seek assistance from the police,” he said.
He cautioned them against use of excessive force and harassment of locals saying those found culpable will face disciplinary action.
Oywa further urged members of the public to accord the askaris maximum cooperation to ensure that they undertake their duties as directed.
“We have had instances where the public blatantly attack our officers whenever they are enforcing the law resulting in unnecessary confrontation,” he said.
Previous cases, he said have been handled amicably with disciplinary action taken against rogue askaris.
“We appeal to the public to respect all county askaris since they are also law enforcers. In case of any irregularities they should report promptly,” he said.
By Kunga Rosebellah and Samwel Oyugi