High court upholds ban of boda bodas in Nairobi CBD

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Nairobi, KENYA: The High court in Nairobi has dismissed a case filed by Starehe Mp Charles Kanyi Njagua seeking to suspend a ban imposed by Nairobi governor Mike Sonko.

Justice Roseline Aburili On Monday ruled that the Mp failed to prove how the Bodaboda riders rights were violated when the county government wanted them out of the Central District Business (CBD).

“The same person of interest cannot be left to oscillate around the courts in different colours of rights where today they sue as a Sacco, tomorrow as a welfare Association, and a day after as an MP trying to protect their interest,” Aburili said.

She added that the Mp’s decision to file the case, when a similar one was dismissed in 2016 -was an abuse of the court process.

In February 2016, twelve boda-boda saccos filed a similar case after the then governor, Evans Kidero banned riders from carrying passengers to and from the city centre – which he said was in line with provisions of the Traffic Act CAP 403 of 2014.

The case was heard and dismissed later by the late justice Joseph Onguto.

Jaguar went to court in January contesting a similar ban imposed by Governor Mike Sonko meant to reduce congestion and general disorder and rising crime in the CBD.

The Mp termed the move ill-informed, unilaterally made and based on irrelevant considerations.

“The boda-boda ban may result in more harm than good, as operators will be frustrated and without a source of livelihood. They may easily be involved in the very criminal activities the ban seeks to curb,” he had argued.

The county government issued a notice on January 22 warning of hefty fines, arrest and long jail terms for riders found contravening the directive.

The notice signed by acting County Secretary Leboo Morintat stated that any operator and passenger found contravening this law will be arrested.

He said such persons will be held liable for an offense punishable by hefty fines and long jail terms as provided for in the Traffic Act, 2014.

“Pursuant to the provisions of the Traffic Act CAP 403 of 2014 of the Laws of the Republic of Kenya, the county government of Nairobi wishes to inform all motorcycle operators ferrying passengers to and from the CBD that such activities have been banned with immediate effect,” he said.

The ban was imposed as a measure to curb the rising rates of crime in the CBD.

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