Boda bo­das lose bid to re­main in CBD as judge dis­misses case

Jus­tice Joseph Onguto says county has a right to reg­u­late the trans­port in­dus­try, and fail­ing to do so will mean it has failed to tame an al­ready chaotic sec­tor

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Nairobi - CA­ROLE MAINA @MainaCa­role

Boda boda op­er­a­tors yes­ter­day failed to stop the Nairobi govern­ment from re­mov­ing them from the cen­tral busi­ness district.

Dis­miss­ing a case they filed ear­lier this year, Jus­tice Joseph Onguto said they have not proved to the court that the county vi­o­lated their rights when it banned them from the CBD.

He said the county has a right to reg­u­late the trans­port in­dus­try and fail­ing to do so will mean it has “failed to tame the al­ready chaotic sec­tor”.

The op­er­a­tors had told the court their rights to do busi­ness in the city had been vi­o­lated.

They moved to court fol­low­ing a state­ment is­sued by Gover­nor Evans Kidero ban­ning them from car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers to and from the city cen­tre.

“Pur­suant to the pro­vi­sions of the Traf­fic Act CAP 403 of 2014 of the Laws of the Repub­lic of Kenya, the Nairobi City County Govern­ment wishes to in­form all mo­tor­cy­cle (boda boda) op­er­a­tors fer­ry­ing pas­sen­gers to and from the cen­tral busi­ness district that such ac­tiv­i­ties have been banned with im­me­di­ate ef­fect,” the gover­nor said.

The op­er­a­tors told the court the busi­ness is their only source of in­come and kick­ing them out will be un­fair and dis­crim­i­na­tory.

“We are law-abid­ing citizens work­ing for a gain as boda boda op­er­a­tors in Nairobi and from the pro­ceeds of our labour,” they said.

The op­er­a­tors told Onguto the de­ci­sion to kick them out was reached with­out prior no­ti­fi­ca­tion. Onguto said the al­leged vi­o­la­tion of their rights was not proved.

The judge said the Con­sti­tu­tion is very clear on what pow­ers the county has on reg­u­lat­ing the trans­port in­dus­try.

Boda boda op­er­a­tors have for a long time re­sisted ef­forts to re­move them from the city cen­tre.

De­spite the de­ci­sion made on Novem­ber 9 last year, many still op­er­ate within the CBD.

/CHRISPINUS WEKESA

Boda boda op­er­a­tors demon­strate in Nairobi’s CBD on July 31 last year

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