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City beggars turn down rehab offer

An operation to clear beggars and street families from Nairobi’s  Central Business District (CBD) yesterday took a dramatic turn when those rounded up forced their way out of  the Waithaka Rehabilitation Centre, where they had been taken.

The more than 58 beggars, including children, had been arrested in an early morning crackdown by a multi-agency team of city inspectorate officers, police and officers from the National Council of People with Disabilities.

The beggars broke and yanked iron bars from windows and threatened to attack anyone who came near the building.

Journalists and county officials had to run for cover after the beggars managed to break down one of the doors.

Education Youth and Gender County Executive Janet Ouko later allowed them to leave but warned them not to go back to the CBD.

According to the authorities, many of the beggars were faking disability or chronic illnesses to draw sympathy from unsuspecting people.

“It seems their aim is to extort from innocent Kenyans. They do not need help. Begging is business for them. This time, we will not be lenient on them,” said Ouko.

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