The Murang'a county government enforcement unit engaged in running battles with boda boda operators alleged to have defied paying daily levies in Kigumo sub-county.
During the crackdown on the Kaharati-Kangari road yesterday, more than 100 motorcycles were impounded as the others went into hiding paralysing transport in the area. The operation was conducted by Kigumo sub-county administrator Esther Karanja. The operators said they had not been warned or issued with a deadline for submitting payments.
Boda boda operators rode into town to protest harassment by county askaris. They protested on the road then went to the sub-county office. The protests paralysed traffic flow within Kigumo and neighbouring districts as the boda boda operators blocked the busy road. "They are harassing us every day making it difficult to conduct business. Despite the fact that we have to operate the boda boda business with driving licenses, the police and council officers are arresting us, demanding money and charging us in court," said Joseph Mwangi, an operator.
Operators who have not submitted their levies were fined Sh5,100, which many said they cannot afford. Efforts to get comments from the sub-county administrator were futile. The operators are required to pay Sh300 monthly to the sub-county offices. Yesterday, a Kigumo leader, Lawrence Memia, asked Governor Mwangi wa Iria to issue a notice on payment methods so that the youth are not harassed by the enforcement unit. "We need a clear guideline from the county administration," he said. The operators vowed to continue with the protests until the county management addresses their plight.