More than 4, 000 motorbikes have been impounded by Nairobi County government since a ban on the motorcycles accessing the city centre was imposed early last year.
From the arrests, City Hall has made more than Sh12.7 million from court fines and storage fees imposed on operators who have been flouting the ban.
In January last year, City Hall issued a directive banning boda bodas from the Central Business District (CBD) with the gazette notice allowing only those providing courier services into the city centre while those ferrying passengers were to drop them off at Ngara and the City stadium.
It warned of hefty fines, arrest and long jail terms for violators of the rules. The ban was issued to help decongest the city center as well as to curtail criminal activities.
Nairobi County Security Compliance chief officer Tito Kilonzi said that since the county effected the ban in May, 2018, a total of 4, 190 motorbikes, as at March 4, 2019, have been impounded by enforcement officers.
He said the operators have been arrested for various reasons key among them being obstruction, failing to observe traffic rules, riding on the wrong side of the road, dropping off passengers at undesignated areas and parking and riding on pavements. A number have been jailed.
“Thousands of them have been arrested and a number charged both at City Courts and Milimani Court for entering the CBD against the county’s policy and by-laws.
“Court fines stand at Sh2.68 million while storage fees are Sh9.8 million. The charges range from Sh1, 000 to Sh80, 000 depending on the type of offense committed,” added Mr Kilonzi on Wednesday.
The chief officer added that currently, there are 397 motorbikes which have not been collected by their owners where 358 are at City Hall’s general store at St Peter’s and another 39 at Dagoretti Pounds.
The boda boda riders were also required to have an identification badge, driving licence and ensure their motorcycles are insured as well as ensure that they do not carry more than one pillion passenger and desist from riding on the pavements.
He said the amount and the number of arrests will keep on increasing as the operation was still ongoing until free flow of traffic and reduced rates of crime in the CBD will be achieved.
CRIMINALS IN THE CAPITAL
“We must control crime in the city centre as most of the motorbikes have been used to aid criminals in the capital,” he said.
On her part, deputy director enforcement Eva Wairiuko said that the exercise has been a success so far and has seen sanity restored within the city centre although she admitted that there are still some operators who are still in the CBD.
“The operation is involving and requires a multi-agency approach and that is why we have the police on board. The exercise is making progress though some of the operators, the hardcore, are still there,” said Ms Wairiuko.
She explained that at first, arrested would be taken to the Traffic department to be charged for flouting traffic offences but they are now taken to the court to be charged in accordance with City by-laws.
“You get some having fake registration numbers so we scrutinize the ownership documents to ascertain whether it is stolen or not and those not able to produce original documents we send to NTSA to verify the authenticity of such particulars,” she said.