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Boda bodas banned from ferrying passengers in Nairobi’s Central Business District

By Graham Kajilwa | November 9th 2015

Nairobi, Kenya: It is now illegal to use boda bodas within the Central Business District(CBD), Nairobi County Government has announced.

Already county security officers have been deployed within the CBD to arrest those contravening the law, with the offense attracting a fine not exceeding Sh20,000 or a six months jail term for both the operators and their passengers.

"Any operator and passenger found contravening this law will be arrested for an offense punishable by hefty fines and long jail terms as provided for in the Traffic Act of 2014," said County Secretary Gregory Mwakanongo.

However, he said the ban does not affect residents transporting goods using motorcycles from one point of the CBD to another.

In a public notice released Monday, Mwakanongo also told motorcycle operators that the government has not designated any parking slots for them in the CBD.

The only parking slots for public service transport operators are those marked for taxis.

"I have been operating along Kenyatta Avenue and Muindi Mbingu Street for the last two years. The area government should allow us to use Tom Mboya Street and Moi Avenue instead of issuing a blanket ban," said Joseph Maina, an operator.

Maina said majority of those operating within the CBD have complied with all the requirements which include licenses, insurance for the bikes, helmets and reflector jackets for both riders and passengers.

"I make a minimum of Sh1,000 per day in the CBD. I remain with Sh700 per day after putting aside Sh300 meant for servicing a merry-go-round loan I used to purchase the bike," he added.

Lucy Mweni, who works at a saloon within the CBD, said she uses boda boda when late for work or when it is raining.

The motorcycle industry in the country is said to be contributing Sh2.2 billion in direct taxes, according to the Motorcycle Assembly Association of Kenya.

However, this is expected to reduce following the ban with already a decrease noted in registration of new motorcycles from 125,058 to 111,124 in 2014.

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