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Sonko joins suit on impounded taxis

Nairobi senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko has joined taxi drivers in a suit seeking to have their impounded vehicles released.

The vehicles were impounded on March 6, during  a strike by taxi drivers and public service vehicles operators to protest at increased parking fees.

Mr Sonko and the 114 taxi drivers, suing through Kenya Taxi Cabs Association, said it is unconstitutional for the Nairobi City government to continue holding the vehicles which the drivers have been lawfully operating in Nairobi.

They said the vehicles are licensed by the same County government and are their source of livelihoods.

Through lawyer Samuel Ngari Thuku, the petitioners said that in the course of the demonstrations, city askaris arrested taxi drivers, charged them at city court, fined them and impounded their vehicles to date.

“Despite the various charges having been preferred against the drivers, the County government proceeded to remove the number plates of all these vehicles and is holding the vehicles without any legal charge in court or demand,” explained lawyer Thuku.

Lawyer Thuku said the county government’s actions are selective, arbitral, malicious and discriminatory as only taxi drivers were arrested and their vehicles towed irrespective of the fact that other matatus and buses participated in the strike but no one was arrested and charged.

They accuse the county government of removing the number plates of the vehicles ostensibly under the instruction and direction of inspector general of police.

“The intentions of the county government, inspector general of police and the Director of Public Prosecution are speculative in nature and undisclosed,” he added.

Mr Peter Waweru Mburu, Chairman of Kenya Taxi Cabs Association, said in his court papers that the continued detention and retention of the vehicles is unwarranted, illegal, oppressive, irrational and aimed at denying the taxi drivers their constitutional right to property and their daily source of income.

“We are apprehensive that the county government in conjunction with the inspector general and the DPP may now move to dispose the vehicles as unclaimed contrary to the legal status of the vehicles by the taxi drivers,” said Mr Waweru.

The case will be heard on Monday.