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Boda boda riders protest woman rep’s bus launch

Police officers had to shoot in the air to disperse protesting boda boda riders in Kiambu who had threatened to set ablaze a bus bought by County Woman Representative Annah Nyokabi using the Affirmative Action Fund.

The riders blocked the Kiambu-Githunguri road over alleged insufficient reimbursement for the cost of attending a meeting that she had called at Ndumberi Stadium on Saturday.

“Some boda boda operators said they were bitter because they were not given enough money to cater for what they spent on fuel for their motorbikes to attend the meeting,” said Ndumberi Chief Christopher Gaithuma.

“They blocked the road and nearly burnt the bus but nothing was destroyed.”

Mr Enock Njau, the chairman of Thika Sub-County boda boda operators association, said the riders felt misused after the woman rep’s office failed to facilitate them as agreed.

BODA BODA INITIATIVE

“When we were invited for the meeting, we were promised a certain amount of money as facilitation,” said Mr Njau.

“Over 200 people from the twelve sub-counties attended the meeting but, unfortunately, only Sh10,000 was given to us, which translates to less that Sh50 per person.”

The protest started after Ms Nyokabi and other guests — including Dagoretti Member of Parliament Denis Waweru, Sweden’s Ambassador to Kenya Johan Borgstam, National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) Director-General Francis Meja and Kiambu Assembly Speaker Gathii Irungu — had left the venue.

Kiambu deputy police boss Johnstone Lymbila on Sunday told Nation he deployed police officers to quell the situation.

Ms Nyokabi had organised the meeting to launch the Nyokabi Gathecha Boda Boda Initiative Dealership, a programme tailored towards empowering boda boda operators in the county by enabling them to purchase Yamaha motorbikes affordably.