NAIROBI POLITICS

How I will restore order in chaotic CBD — Igathe

Igathe says he will work to create proper structures to accommodate hawkers and businesses

In Summary
  • Speaking on Tuesday, Igathe said CBD has turned chaotic and turned into a parking lot, resulting in congestion.
  • The move was said to be necessary to moderate having a flamboyant governor and a deputy who was well versed in corporate management.
Azimio la Umoja governor aspirant Polycarp Igathe meeting butchers at Dagoretti slaughter house on May 6
Azimio la Umoja governor aspirant Polycarp Igathe meeting butchers at Dagoretti slaughter house on May 6
Image: Polycarp Igathe

Traffic jams, unruly hawkers, pickpockets and illegal matatu stages are some of the daily struggles commuters face in Nairobi's Central Business District.

However, Azimio la Umoja governor aspirant Polycarp Igathe is pledging to deal with the CBD menace and put things in order if elected.

Speaking on Tuesday, Igathe said the CBD is chaotic and has been turned into a parking lot, resulting in congestion.

“It is a Central Business District, not a central parking lot. Cars should be parked in specific areas, buildings,”  he said.

The total car parking space in City Centre is 14, 864, of which 3,941 are on-street parking, Off-street parking slots are 3,834 while 7,089 are building parking.

As a solution, Igathe suggested that motorists should park at the main bus stations and enter the CBD using public transport to create space for businesses to thrive.

He is also banking on the formation of policies that incentivise public transport and pedestrians within the CBD.

Hawkers have also been branded the ‘real owners’ of the CBD as over the years they have proven to be unruly and untouchable.

They have taken over road reserves, pedestrian footpaths to run their businesses.

It has always been a cat and mouse game between them and county enforcement officer, who attempt to keep them off the streets.

The former Equity Bank chief commercial officer promises to turn the CBD into a real retail market to provide a safe business environment for all traders including hawkers.

He said hawkers approached him and asked him to run Nairobi in a manner that will include them.

“Wachuuzi sio adui, ile shida tuko nayo ni kukanyagana sana. Tunahitaji mipangilio.(Hawkers are not our enemies. Our problem is that we oppress them a lot, we only need proper structures,” he said.

“We are all passengers in one vehicle. Nairobi is a jewel but we keep fighting against each other.Our hawkers suffer from taxation, licensing, services and harassment. We will streamline all this so that we can flourish together."

In addition, to making the CBD prosper, Igathe said he will address security, especially for women who feel insecure.

“We want Nairobi women at work, thrive and always feel secure,” Igathe said.

Azimio la Umoja Gubernatorial aprirant Polycarp Igathe riding in city hopper on May 9, 2022
Azimio la Umoja Gubernatorial aprirant Polycarp Igathe riding in city hopper on May 9, 2022
Image: Polycarp Igathe

Igathe rattled the Azimio camp when he was declared Jubilee's nominee for Nairobi governor seat.

Without holding a political rally or a campaign poster, the coalition, last month unveiled him as their flagbearer to be deputised by former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki.

Igathe’s transition from the lavish offices of the corporate world into politics began long before he joined forces with former governor Mike Sonko in 2017.

During Jubilee primaries in April 2017, State House ‘fished’ Igathe from Vivo Energy where he was the CEO.

The move was said to be necessary to moderate having a flamboyant governor and a deputy who was well versed in corporate management.

However, a few months into office, Igathe and Sonko developed a strained relationship.

On January 12, 2022, Igathe resigned barely six months after assuming office citing failure to earn the trust of his boss to enable him to deliver services.

Opening up on his resignation, Igathe said during his tenure at City Hall ,he was not at any point assigned any duty as the deputy governor.

He said he was left in the dark with the county being run as a one-man show.

“ For six months, I had not performed any duties. I was never approached, never took part in the making of cabinet. I read the names in the newspapers like anyone else. I was even left out in the nomination of MCAs. I was totally left out,” Igathe said.

The governor hopeful further explained that when he got to city hall, the system was designed to steal from the public which he felt was an abuse of the trust residents bestowed him.

“I stepped down to avoid abusing the trust of God and the voters. Power belongs to the people, if you see you are going to betray them, step down," Igathe said.

"I could not stay in a public office doing nothing. I wake up to a calling not an alarm. That is why I exited and went quiet."

Igathe and Kaloki will face Kenya Kwanza’s aspirant Johnson Sakaja and his running mate Njoroge Muchiri in the August 9 polls.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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