Police on Tuesday morning engaged boda boda operators in a gun drama near the Nation Center, within Nairobi's CBD.
The armed officers, some of whom were in plainclothes, fired several times and eventually subdued and arrested a number of boda boda riders.
The officers then towed the motorcycles into a waiting lorry.
The Nairobi county government bylaws, prohibits boda boda riders from operating within the city center.
But some of the operators who witnessed the incident blamed the police of using unnecessary force.
"The police are using extra force, the use of live bullets on us is not fair. They could have asked us to leave in peace," said one boda boda rider.
Eye witnesses also condemned the incident, saying the county government should deal with boda boda operators in a better way.
"Instead of police officers using unnecessary force, they should have a way of dealing with the riders, most of them earn a living within the city center," said one witness.
Three weeks ago, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko ordered his government officials to release several motorcycles impounded from the operators within the city centre.
He however cautioned the operators to keep off the city center.