Trending: DP Gachagua Takes War With Nairobi Governor A Notch Higher.
‘There’s No Governor I Can’t Tell What To Do,’ Gachagua Says Amid Dispute With Sakaja
- On Sunday, the deputy president asked matatu operators and city business-people not to worry and continue with their businesses, assuring them of government protection against the plan he argues will stifle the economy of Nairobi.
- Gachagua said as the country’s second-in-command, he is “the bridge between the National and County Governors” and therefore he is justified to direct Sakaja on the matter.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has maintained that he will not allow Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to carry on with his plan to kick out matatus from the city’s Central Business Disctrict (CBD).
Gachagua and Sakaja are embroiled in a war of words over the plan, even as Sakaja holds that has the full backing of the President William Ruto on his transformational push to restore what he calls the city’s lost glory by relocating public service vehicle termini.
On Sunday, the deputy president asked matatu operators and city business-people not to worry and continue with their businesses, assuring them of government protection against the plan he argues will stifle the economy of Nairobi.
“We need to respect all businesses, and I want to tell all business people to continue working, the William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua government will not allow anyone to destroy any business,” he said in an interview with Inooro TV.
“William Ruto and I were elected on the promise that we would not destroy people’s businesses, you remember my issues with the other regime when I was MP, our Goverment is here to protect… we cannot allow people who were making 400 to now make 300,” he added.
Gachagua further stated that as the country’s second-in-command, he is “the bridge between the National and County Governments” and therefore he is justified to direct Sakaja on the matter.
“There is no governor that I cannot tell what they need to do…. It is there outlined in the Executive order issues by the president, that I’m the bridge between the National and County Governors,” said the DP.
Under the proposed plan, all PSVs plying will pick and drop passengers at the Green Park, Desai and Park Road bus termini, as well as the Muthurwa and Railway Club termini.
According to Gachagua, moving matatus to the termini disadvantages city traders who need move large amounts of cargo in and out of the city.
“Githunguri people Route 120 alight at Kaka with bags of vegetables at around 5 AM in the morning to sell at Marikiti before they go to work, if you tell these people to alight in Westlands when will their vegetables get to Marikiti?,” the DP posed.
“Another example is the lines of shops at Tea Room, Accra Road and River Road… all these businesses exist because of these matatu bus stops.
If you move these Matatus from that bus stage, you will finish all these people… it is not as easy as just moving these matatus.. moving matatus from the city will kill Nairobi businesses,” he added.
Gachagua argued that those calling for decongestion of the city are dwellers of suburbs whose livelihoods do not depend on accessibility to the CBD.
“Those who are saying Nairobi is congested live in Karen and do not come to town … they live in Runda and do not come to town … People who actually come to town are not complaining about congestion because this is where they eke out a living,” he said.
The now-defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) had said that there will also be six city link buses to ferry commuters who do not wish to walk to the city centre, with more expected to be introduced as demand increases.
To this, Gachagua said “When those people who are planning the city bring us the trains and the buses, we will say, fine, we can move matatus from the city, but at the moment there are no trains or buses.”
On the ban on nightclubs operating in residential areas by Governor Sakaja, Gachagua noted that while the fight against noise pollution is warranted, there needs to be a meeting between the county government and club owners to come up with regulations which do not threaten the survival of their entertainment joints.
“We would not want noisy clubs, we want kids to sleep early, and we know others are Christians and it’s their right, they don’t deserve noise.
On the other hand, we are the ones who gave these people licenses to operate in residential areas, you cannot wake up one day and tell someone who invested say around Ksh.5 million in a business with a valid license to just close and go home,” said Gachagua.
“The best way is to invite these people for a sit-down and see how to address the noise menace. Give them time to sound-proof these establishments,” he added.