TO BE HEARD ON JUNE 24

Sonko, MPs sue to block boda boda insurance

Say insurance will put many boda bodas out of business, raise fares for poor passengers

In Summary

• Politicians want restraining orders. Cite lack of public participation, say boda boda and tuk-tuk operators not involved.

• CS Rotich said boda bodas are popular but risky mode of transport, cites road safety.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, two MPs and two former legislators have sued the state over the proposal to require boda-boda and tuk-tuk operators to carry insurance.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, two MPs and two former legislators have sued the state over the proposal to require boda-boda and tuk-tuk operators to carry insurance.
Image: COURTESY

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, two MPs and two former legislators have sued the state over the proposal to require boda-boda and tuk-tuk operators to carry insurance.

It would cover their passengers, pedestrians and others in the event of an accident.

The suit was filed on Monday by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, MPs Moses Kuria, Simon Mbugua, Kalembe Ndile, Reuben Ndolo and former MPs Stanley Livondo and Steven Bwire.

 

High Court judge John Mativo certified the case as urgent and directed that the parties be served with suit papers. The case will be heard on June 24.

The politicians want the court to issue temporary order stopping implementation of the government proposal for third party insurance.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich made the proposals in presenting the budget for 2019-2020 on Thursday last week.

The politicians say the state did not share the proposal with members of public first before including it in the budget. As such, it is unconstitutional, they said.

They say boda boda operators would be required to pay excessive and obstructive fees in form of third-party insurance without being given chance to deliberate on the issue and give their views.

CS Rotich should have consulted with the chief government adviser before making the proposals, they said.

If implemented, the insurance requirement will cause huge losses to boda boda operators, the politicians said.

 

Some are likely to lose their businesses, which will lead to massive job losses and increased insecurity, the suit papers said.

In his presentation to Parliament, Rotich said he would table a bill requiring all boda boda's and tuk-tuk's to have a third-party insurance cover.

This would push up transport costs in the most common and affordable mode of travel.

If the bill is passed and approved, millions of boda boda users will be forced to dig deeper into their pockets and will pass on additional insurance costs to their passengers.

Rotich said insurance cover is necessary as boda bodas are involved in many accidents and have proved risky to the riders, passengers and pedestrians.

On Saturday, Sonko said, “Seventy per cent of Nairobians are low-income earners and they at times even lack money for transportation and basics needs like food. These boda bodas are what Wanjiku uses to travel when going to vote."

He said he would support President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda but on the boda boda issue, "We will go to court on Monday to challenge CS Rotich. We will not accept it (insurance)."