Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has ordered for the release of all motorbikes impounded by the Nairobi City County (NCC). Sakaja and his deputy, Njoroge Muchiri, were sworn in on Thursday, August 25.
He further directed for all ongoing cases by the county against boda boda riders to be dropped. Sakaja, who vied on a UDA ticket, ran on a pro-business platform and, in particular, better conditions for traders and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
According to the Boda Boda Safety Association, there are over 50,000 boda bodas operating in Nairobi. They have previously clashed with the county and national governments over claims of recklessness and association with disorder.
Hundreds of motorbikes have been impounded by county government officials for various violations over the years. The fines, in some cases, can be out of reach for boda boda riders who end up abandoning their impounded bikes.
In 2018, for instance, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko banned boda bodas from operating within the Central Business District (CBD). This order, however, went unheeded as the boda bodas remain stationed at key points in the CBD.
In March, there was also a massive crackdown on the sector following the reported i******t involving a woman who got into an altercation with boda boda riders in the city. The situation led to hundreds of boda bodas being impounded even as lobby groups for the sector pleaded for riders to be allowed to operate, promising to ensure their members actively mind various rules and regulations.
Among other things Sakaja promised Nairobians during his campaign is the introduction of an electronic unified single business permit. He also vowed to end harassment of traders and small businesses by county officials.
Sakaja’s promises on the campaign trail were in line with UDA’s ‘H*****r Nation’ campaign messaging. At his swearing-in ceremony, he promised to deliver on the promises highlighting the high expectations of city residents.
Other promises he made include availing free lunches in all public schools, addressing water supply woes, setting up schools for children with special needs’, a county light rail system and a county b***d bank. He also promised to address the garbage collection menace that has left several parts of the city choking in filth.
“I have given firm directions on resolving the current garbage problem across Nairobi in the next few days. We will have a city of order, dignity, hope and opportunity for all,” he shared on Saturday, August 27 after engaging traders in the CBD.