Kidero, Kirubi in heated debate over dismal business climate
Traders say the city is dirty and complain of street urchins, traffic jams, illegal structures, garbage, disruptive hawkers and double taxation that hurt trade
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has been publicly taken two task for the second time in three months over the city’s poor business environment.
At a City Hall forum yesterday, Kidero blamed politics for the problems and said the situation is improving.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance complained to the city boss about traffic congestion, double taxation, street urchins, garbage, hawkers and illegal structures.
Businessman Chris Kirubi and Kepsa chief executive Carole Kariuki engaged the governor in a heated debate after the city boss blamed political interests for the problems businesses face.
Kirubi asked Kidero not to use politics to justify failure but to work to make the city friendlier to business.
“Do your work and stop blaming politics, there is no politics in cleaning the city,” he said.
The businessman asked the governor to explain the county’s failure to expand existing markets and establish new ones to accommodate the growing number of street vendors.
When Trade executive Anne Othoro rose to answer him, Kirubi demanded that he only be answered by the governor. “I have been engaging you many times and nothing has changed,” he said at the forum.
In August, the Nairobi Business Membership Organisations Coalition complained to the governor about the poor business environment.
Kidero said the county in partnership with the World Bank is renovating and constructing new markets for Sh6 billion.
“Westlands Market will be complete in eight weeks. We are re-constructing City Park Market to accommodate many traders and working on Muthurwa, Karandini Market on Jogoo Road, Dagoretti Market and City Market,” he said.
Kidero said political interference is to blame for traffic jams in Nairobi. He said the President gave an order allowing 14-seater matatus in the city and they are the leading cause of traffic congestion in the CBD.
Traffic police have also refused to stop controlling traffic, despite the function being devolved, the governor said.
Wanjiku Manyara of the Petroleum Institute of East Africa said illegal structures next to businesses pose a security threat and businesspeople are spending a lot of money to hire security guards.
The county’s failure to harmonise taxes has led to double taxation which leads to losses, she said.
“For example, we pay the county for billboard advertising at the same time we pay Kenha. The same is happening in branding,” Manyara added.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero addresses members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance during a breakfast roundtable in Nairobi yesterday