Gunshots, drama in fight over ownership of public toilets in Nairobi Featured

 At least two gunshots were fired in downtown, Nairobi, on Saturday in a feud over who should run public toilets in the city.

 Tom Makale, who runs several public toilets, fired in the air and flushed out youths who were already charging customers after the expiry of his contract.

 Officers from Kamukunji Police Station rushed to the scene and disarmed him before a surging crowd threatened to frog march and lynch him for shooting without provocation. Makale was whisked to the station under tight security and booked under OB 35/11/05/2018 and could be arraigned in court on Monday over charges of misusing a fire arm.

Makale has been running the toilets until the county government gave him a notice to vacate the toilets earlier this year so that they could be given to youth groups.

A letter by then acting County Secretary Leboo Ole Morintat on January 8, 2018,   asked Alikar Systems Ltd, Mr. Makale's firm, to vacate the facilities.

“It has been decided that henceforth, the toilets will be managed by youth groups as a way of employment creation and youth empowerment," said the letter.

 Mr. Morintat further stated that once the facilities are vacated, they would be handed over to new youth managers that the county has been recruiting.

“Notice is given to you to vacate the public toilet to allow the newly procured managers to take over the facility. This is in accordance with sub clauses 6.2 and 6.3 of the contract," says the letter.

 The youth who are lined up for the toilets jobs yesterday protested at the impunity of the former managers and asked the county government to be firm.

 The youth's chairman Francis Macharia said they had laid the ground to pay the requisite county levies and start running the toilets.

"We are supporting the youth project as it will benefit more than 300 youths. Currently, only a few individuals benefit," said Macharia. Macharia said the same groups were actively involved in the Jubilee campaigns in Nairobi because they wanted to be empowered by the Jubilee leadership.

"We shall not allow cartels to continue operating the toilets. They have had their time. We shall show them better ways to dispose the wastes from the toilets and make them cleaner. Our youths are hurting economically,” said Macharia.