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How I plan to fix unruly Nairobi – Igathe

To create a conducive business environment, especially for SMES, Igathe promised to do away with multiple business permits if he wins.

In Summary

• Igathe said his government will institute a 'Linda Jamii’ social protection program aimed at improving and uplifting the sprawling informal settlements in Nairobi.

• Defending his campaign style, Igathe said his way of interacting with the public demonstrates that a leader is a servant of the people.

Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe.
Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe.
Image: File

Traffic jams, unruly hawkers, congestion, insecurity, cartels, water shortage and illegal matatu stages are some of the daily problems encountered by Nairobi residents.

With a people–centred manifesto, Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe has reiterated his commitment to enhance service delivery if elected on August 9.

Committed to delivering zero hunger, decent jobs, and well-being for Nairobi residents as the priority, his performance agreement focuses on three areas; the Society, the Economy, and Environment.

To create a conducive business environment, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), he promised to do away with multiple business permits if he wins.

“All businesses will operate on a unified permit. Supermarkets, for instance, will only have one business permit with flexible payment timelines that shall be spread throughout the year,” he said.

He further stated that he will institute a five-year score card pegged on a yearly performance agreement with the public.

“The work of a leader is to find solutions and not amplify problems. Give me a performance agreement to work with to deliver the scorecard that will be based on my manifesto for Nairobi,” Igathe said.

If elected, the former Nairobi deputy governor said his government will institute a 'Linda Jamii’ social protection program aimed at improving and uplifting the sprawling informal settlements in Nairobi.

On low revenue collection in Nairobi, the governor hopeful emphasised on the need to standardise revenue streams, to ensure every business pays taxes on their income.

“Nairobi has about over two million properties but only about 120 of them pay rates. This tells you we have a problem with revenue collection in Nairobi and we need to fix it.”

Igathe spoke on Thursday when the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) presented him with the Private Sector Economic Manifesto for Nairobi County.

The manifesto emphasises eight thematic areas where the private sector wants to change, how the capital city is governed including e-government, compliance and enforcement, healthcare, competitiveness, jobs creation as well as culture, and social inclusion.

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

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

Igathe promised to turn the CBD into a real retail market to provide a safe business environment for all traders including hawkers, whom he said 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.

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.”

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.

The Jubilee candidate revealed that in his first 100 days in office, his administration will create a fit-for-purpose county government with motivated staff and cabinet to deliver on his vision of Nairobi.

“The work of a leader is to find solutions and not amplify problems. Give me a performance agreement to work with to deliver the scorecard that will be based on my manifesto for Nairobi,” Igathe added.

Defending his campaign style, Igathe said his way of interacting with the public demonstrates that a leader is a servant of the people.

“I was doing this to present to Kenyans that here comes a man who is a servant. A politician is simply a servant, and a city is about service."

With ‘NairobiTunavyoitaka’ as his campaign slogan, Igathe’s style of courting Nairobians to elect him has seen him washing cars, toilets, pull carts and was even spotted serving as a waiter at Quiver lounge.

In addition, the former Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Equity Bank urged the public to exercise their political right by voting as that is the only way of implementing the change they want.

“You have refused to take responsibility to vote but you keep accusing others, saying it is that fellow. Chapter One of the constitution says the sovereign power of the Republic of Kenya belongs to the people,” Igathe said.

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