A Nairobi lobby group comprising of Matatu owners, boda boda operators, hawkers and Jua-kali artisans from has now come out to defend Governor Mike Sonko’s performance and urged the State to reinstate his withdrawn bodyguards.
Under the moniker “Friends of Nairobi City County”, the group called for the reinstatement of Sonko’s security to ensure that he did his job without fear.
“In this City there are forces that want to make sure that Governor Mike Sonko does not work. The government should safeguard the life of our Governor before it’s too late,” said Chairman of the Boda Boda association of Kenya, Ken Onyango.
The chair observed that by dismantling cartels and automating most revenue collection streams, the Governor had formed powerful enemies.
Governor Sonko has been holding cabinet meetings in his Mua home in Machakos after his security was stripped down by interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) chairman, Dickson Mbugua said that it was only six months since the Governor assumed office and the public should give him at least a year before criticising him.
He acknowledged that there were efforts by the Governor in revenue collection which had ensured City Hall collected approximately Sh17 million daily.
He however called on the inclusion of Matatu owners in the regeneration programme meant to decongest the City among other things.
“The bus termini set up by the County as alternative stages should be used as holding grounds where commuters can then walk or take a cheap mode of transport into the central business district,” stated Mbugua.
City Hall’s transport and infrastructure department had recently ordered matatus out of the CBD saying that their services would be taken up by the National Youth Service Buses which were cheaper.
The move was however met with resistance prompting the ban to be extended again.
Former Mayor and coordinator of the lobby group, Joe Akech called on the business community to work in harmony with the governor to ensure the City’s prosperity.
“Everything that happens nowadays is blamed on Sonko and this should stop. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the City moves forward,” he added.
The group has now proposed a County clean-up day each and every month to remedy the garbage menace.
On the issue of flying to Rwanda, Akech revealed that plans were still in place to have 300 boda boda riders, hawkers, Matatu operators and Juakali artisans fly out to Rwanda.
The purpose of their visit would be to attend a symposium where each sector would be trained on best practises and emulate them back in Kenya.
The trip is expected to be next month and will last four days.
“If Michuki transformed the Matatu sector then we can also inculcate the lessons learnt from Rwanda to transform Nairobi and regain our lost glory as the best in Africa,” he added.
The lobby group however divulged that they did not have a budget for the trip and were in consultation with the governor over the logistics.
Governor Mike Sonko has since Monday this week been holding cabinet meetings in his machakos home.
The development came after interior Cs Matiangi reduced his bodyguards to four in an exercise meant to recall 5,000 officers from VIP’s. Sonko has also recently made public concerns for his safety
The group also divulged plans to have 300 of their members flown to Kigali Rwanda for benchmarking on best practices by the Governor.