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Nairobi county to auction 193 unclaimed motorbikes

By Pkemoi Ng’enoh | September 2nd 2021
Impounded motorcycles parked at the Nairobi City County Warehouse yard in Dagoretti South Sub-county. [Samson Wire, Standard]

More than 100 unclaimed motorcycles that were impounded more than a year ago in Nairobi will be auctioned once the county legal process is completed.

The 193 motorcycles have been lying in the Dagoretti and Ngong Road county yards for more than two years after the owners failed to show up with legal documents, including logbooks and receipts, to claim them.

“When we impound the motorbikes, we require logbook and receipt given by the companies and distributors because we suspect some of these motorbikes were stolen or acquired illegally,” said Deputy Director of Operations Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) William Kangogo.

Kangogo spoke amid an ongoing crackdown on boda-boda operators within the city centre.

The operation, which has been going on for three weeks, is targeting areas where the riders are not allowed to operate.

“For the last three weeks we have been arresting boda-boda riders within CBD where they are not allowed to operate because most of them have been linked to criminal activities, like the ones who snatched phones from police officers,” Kangogo told The Standard.

On the auctioning process, he said the first step is to come up with a list, which they will hand over to the Director of Procurement, then seek a court order to complete the legal process.

Kangogo said the department is also pursuing leads linking a city politician to importation of motorbikes that he allegedly use to entice the youth ahead of next year’s elections.

“We suspect that he is using them as bait to get votes. The youth recruited come from his constituency but some of them lease out the motorbikes to criminals at night,” he said.

From the three-week operation, the officer said over 100 boda boda operators have been arrested and charged in court.

“A number of them charged at City Court pay the fines even if they are as high as Sh40,000. That is where the issue of the politician comes in,” said Kangogo.

Some operators interviewed by The Standard said the fines imposed and charges required at the yards are exorbitant, thus some of them leave the motorcycles to rot there.

“Some of our colleagues go underground when the fines are high. The county also charges about Sh2,000 per day for impounded bikes. Such burdens are too heavy for some of us,” said Edward Onyango, rider in Nairobi.

At the entrance of Central Police Station, boda boda operators in Nairobi have been warned against giving bribes to crooks posing as police officers whenever their motorbikes are impounded.

The riders are advised to go to court as required by the law.

“Afterwards, you are required to come with necessary receipts and other documents, including those showing the ownership of the motorcycle,” reads the notice.

The notice by the station commander states that no one will get back their impounded motorcycle if they do not follow the correct procedure of claiming them.

There also is an ongoing crackdown on boda-boda riders who cause obstruction and commit other traffic related offences in restricted areas in the city.

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