The recent sacking of over 700 city constables famously known as “Kanjo” or askaris by the county government of Nairobi mirrors their recruitment a few years ago which remains controversial to date.
The recruitment of city askaris was opposed by the County Assembly which claimed that the Nairobi Metropolitan Services NMS (now defunct) under the directorship of Mohammed Badi had no legal authority to directly employ staff whether on a contract or permanent terms. Gen. Badi wielded a lot of powers at that time; he recruited the 700 whose services have now been terminated by Governor Johnson Sakaja. The askaris have been left jobless after the governor abandoned his campaign promise of absorbing them into his new administration following the expiry of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) term in office.
The County Government’s Chief Officer for Security and Compliance Tony Kimani vide a memo Ref. COSEC/CP/3/3/VOL.11/59/2023 dated February 1, 2022, says the workers will be relieved of their duties following the expiry of their contract. The askaris signed a three-year contract with NMS in 2021 which technically means that they have been relieved before the expiry of their tenure.
“You are requested to release the officers to report to Dagoretti Training College on Friday, February 3, 2023, at 8am,” says Kimani in the letter. “Kindly inform them to carry their working tools, including uniforms, and ceremonial dressings for further instructions.”
The letter is copied to Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei and the County Secretary.