Expect more chaos in CBD as city askaris, boda boda fail to strike deal
The running battles on the streets of Nairobi, pitting city askaris against the boda boda operators, are set to play out through the week after the two sides failed to reach a truce.
The operators, who have from Monday been protesting the decision by city authorities to bar them from the central business district (CBD), have vowed to hold week-long demonstrations.
The county, which has designated drop-off points at Railways station, OTC, Globe Cinema and next to Uhuru Park around Procession Road says it will arrest operators found within the CBD alongside their passengers.
Boda bodas have been blamed for increased insecurity within the city centre by offering criminals fast and convenient escapes.
They also owe their predicament to their chaotic manner of operations that violate safety regulations.
Since last month, the City Inspectorate Department has impounded over 1,000 motorcycles out of which about 600 were still under its custody by end of Friday last week, as authorities intensify the crackdown in joint operations with the police.
The ban came into effect in January.
“They must remain outside the CBD. Rogue operators who are not willing to register with the boda boda association are the ones we are following,” Peter Mbaya, the City Inspectorate chief said on Monday.
Operators pay Sh2,000 upon the impounding of their motorcycles, and Sh 1,000 for every day spent under the county custody, a move that the Boda Boda Association says is exploitive.
They have accused the city authorities of making the crackdown a cash cow, besides arresting its members from areas they designated for boda bodas to operate from.