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Sonko promises voters lower rates in manifesto

Small-scale traders, the jobless, taxi owners and the poor in general will be the biggest beneficiaries if Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko is elected the city county’s governor and fulfils his promises.

In his manifesto, launched Sunday, Mr Sonko said business licence fees, land rates and parking fees would revert to the amounts they paid in 2012 before Dr Evans Kidero became governor.

“You’ll pay the fees you used to pay in 2012 as soon as I take office,” he said.

“All the poor will not pay licence fees to the Nairobi County Government,” he added.

He promised to set up modern kiosks for the jobless and the poor.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Mr Sonko also pledged to involve the people in decision making. He said he will have an advisory committee that includes representatives of the people.

“Kidero increased all these fees by 100 per cent without involving the people of Nairobi, but where has all this money been going? It has not been accounted for since the Kidero regime has been in office and no audits have been conducted,” he said.

On health, Mr Sonko said he would partner with the National Hospitals Insurance Fund to ensure all the residents of Nairobi get free medical cover.

He promised to recruit the youth from various wards to be county askaris in those jurisdictions. The senator said this would be one way of dealing with unemployment among the youth.

He promised to protect landowners from land grabbers as he has been known to do.

“All grabbers will hand over the grabbed land after August 9,” he said.

The presentation of the manifesto started with the screening of videos on the interventions he has been involved in, in helping victims of land grabbers in the city.

Residents whose houses were on the verge of being demolished but got assistance from Mr Sonko spoke to the audience.

DELIVERING PLEDGES

Running mate Polycarp Igathe, who worked with Mr Sonko through the reading of the document, said his task would be to work with him in delivering his pledges within the first 100 days.

“We shall hold ‘the Nairobi we want convention’ within three weeks of assuming office, and you can put this manifesto to test, and you endorse it through public participation,” he said.

Mr Igathe said they would also digitise operations and improve working conditions for county staff to ensure timely payment of salaries.

He said they would audit county properties to get a fixed asset register of the city, which he claimed was not in existence.

The two leaders promised to revoke all irregular and illegal contracts. They also pledged to develop an affordable housing plan and review the county planning framework.

Nairobi Woman Representative Rachel Shebesh, who spoke at the launch, said leadership is not about how much English one can speak.

“You can be a doctor and still mismanage Nairobi. But Sonko knows the ground and the issues there. And once you’re in office, we don’t want you to sit in the office. We want you to be on the ground. Igathe can sit on the throne.”