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Sonko, other leaders out to block boda boda insurance

By Paul Ogemba | June 18th 2019
From left former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo, East African Legislative Assembly MP Simon Mbugua, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko arrive at wedding recently. [Standard]

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has made good his threat to sue the Government for introducing a new insurance policy for passenger motorcycles and Tuk Tuk taxis.

Mr Sonko alongside Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Simon Mbugua, former MPs Kalembe Ndile, Reuben Ndolo and politician Stanley Livondo, want to stop implementation of the 2019/2020 budget proposals until the case is determined.

The politicians argued the budget proposal read by Treasury CS Henry Rotich was illegal and unconstitutional for failing to seek public views before widening the tax brackets targeting small scale traders and common members of the public.

Through lawyer Evans Ondieki, they accused the Treasury CS of unilaterally reaching the decision to tax passenger motorcycles known as boda boda and tuk tuk taxis. They said this will burden the public who rely on them.

“All boda bodas and tuk-tuks operators are left in a position where they have to pay excessive and obstructive fees without being given opportunity to debate the proposal. This is a dangerous move which will drive them out of business and send them back into unemployment,” said Ondieki.

Tax measure

Mr Rotich, in his budget speech last week, introduced a new tax measure for the operators in which all boda boda and tuk tuk operators will be required to obtain third party insurance to cover their passengers and pedestrians in case of an accident.

The CS indicated the measure would be achieved through amending the Insurance (Motor Vehicle Third Party Risks, Certificate of Insurance) Regulations.

But Ondieki told the court the proposed changes were not shared with the public for their input as required in the Constitution.

“The CS should have consulted the Attorney General before taking such drastic measures that if not stopped can bring down a big industry that employs thousands of youths,” said Ondieki.

Sonko, in his affidavit to support the application, said he fears the city will become insecure if the boda boda operators are driven out of business.

He said Rotich’s proposal is a financial bill which required public input before being implemented.

“We have over 1.2 million boda boda and over 184,000 tuk-tuk operators who are now at risk of closing business because they cannot afford the insurance,” swore Sonko.

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