The Government has been called upon to stop the boda boda harassment and instead, put in place measures to regulate the sector that has employment millions of youths.
The call comes in the wake of arrests and crackdown of the boda boda riders after an ugly incident witnessed last week, involving a female motorist and rogue riders in Nairobi.
At the same time, the Kenya Kwanza Alliance has claimed that the government is using State Machinery to intimidate and blackmail political leaders into joining the Azimio La Umoja team.
Speaking in Meru during a series of political rallies, the alliance leaders led by Deputy President William Ruto and ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi together with a number of the outfit luminaries, the leaders accused the government of threatening the would-be friends of the alliance with corruption files, should they make good their wish to join the Kenya Kwanza team.
The leaders, however, called on the alliance’s potential suitors not to be blackmailed with corruption cases against them but be brave enough to join them in their quest to form the fifth government.
In a veiled attacked of Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi who had expressed willingness to join Kenya kwanza before he made a turn to work with ODM leader Raila Odinga-led Azimio La Umoja, Mudavadi alleged that he had held a discussion with the governor over his working with the Kenya Kwanza team only for him to later change tune on claims that ‘files of him’ were presented against him.
“I had a meeting with Kiraitu and asked him what was the mood on the ground and told me that the ground is singing hustler. I then asked him not to disappoint his people, but he seems to have given in to intimidations and blackmail,” said Mudavadi.
The Amani party leader called on the government to stop the game of intimidation, and if truly there are corruption cases against the leaders, then they should be prosecuted without being blackmailed.
“The Ameru are not people known to be cowards. I wonder why our friend has chosen to be intimidated and blackmailed,” said Mudavadi.
At the same time, Mudavadi called on the government to protect the business of the small traders, even as he called for an end to the harassment of the boda boda riders.
He said the sins of few individuals should not be used to criminalize the whole sectors that has employed thousands of youths and feeding millions of households.
His sentiments follows the nationwide crackdown on the riders after an accident involving a motorist and a rider in Nairobi where the riders took the law into their own hands and harassed the motorist.
The incident attracted a countrywide condemnation, forcing the President to order a countrywide crackdown on the riders. Several boda boda were arrested a heavy fine of as much as Sh35,000 imposed on them.
“Those involved in the Nairobi incident are criminals and should be dealt with as such, not condemning every rider even those with clean record. We call for an immediate end to the crackdown,” said Mudavadi.
The call to end the crackdown was also echoed by the Deputy President who said the boda boda sector should not be criminalized by the State, accusing the government of taking advantage of the Nairobi incident to raise money to fund the Azimio La Umoja campaigns.
“Every person including those operating the boda boda has a right to do his business in peace without harassment. They should not criminalize small business operators because of their selfish interests,” said Dr. Ruto.
The deputy president reiterated that his administration will set aside Sh50 billion to boost such operators like boda bodas and other small traders in the country.
Ruto called on the police to deal with specific boda boda law breakers and not resorting to harassing everyone in the sector.
“We know the KEMSA thieves were never harassed the way our boda bodas are being harassed. Those who stole billions of health money are walking free and enjoying State protection, and instead of protecting and regulating the boda boda transport sector, they are harassing them as they mint millions of money from them to fund the Azimio campaigns,” said the deputy president in various stop overs.
The two leaders held their first rally in Meru two days after jetting into the country from the USA and UK where they had toured for 10 days, meeting Kenyans in the diaspora and international community, selling their agenda for the country.
Ruto and Mudavadi were accompanied by among others Senators Mithika Lithuri, Kindiki Kithure, MPs Silvanous Osoro, Mohammed Ali, Ndidi Nyoro, Rigathi Gachagua among others and held rallies in Maua, Meru, Nkubu and Chuka towns as well Kianjai and Mitheru stop overs.