• Cartels, a near-mystical bunch of individuals said to be the biggest obstacle to reform, rejuvenate and rehabilitate the capital have been an eyesore, to previous regimes.
• But Sakaja said he has a clear strategy on how he will deal with the shadowy clique whose only goal is to fleece the general public.
Nairobi UDA governor candidate Johnson Sakaja has downplayed the threat cartels will pose to his administration should he be elected on August 9.
Cartels, a near-mystical bunch of individuals said to be the biggest obstacle to reform, rejuvenate and rehabilitate the capital, have been an eyesore to previous regimes.
But Sakaja said he has a clear strategy on how he will deal with the shadowy clique whose only goal is to fleece the general public.
"I have said numerously that the word cartels is normally used by leaders who are either lazy or who are part of them," Sakaja said.
While speaking on KBC's ExtraMile Wednesday night, Sakaja said the first way he will deal with the cartels is not to be part of them.
He said he will not sacrifice the livelihoods of Nairobians either for political or financial expediency by playing by the rules of the cartels.
"You can't have a cabal of ten or 15 people putting the lives and livelihoods of five million residents at ransom. The first thing you do is dissociate from them," he said.
Sakaja explained that cartels have managed to thrive at City Hall because of the free interaction with cash during the revenue collection process.
This, he said, he will fix by automating and digitizing all county revenue collection streams.
"We have more than 150 revenue streams and very few are digitized. And we will have a tendering process that is transparent. If you are able to play within those rules, we will work with you," he said.
Sakaja, however, admitted that it will take time to rid the city of cartels because the group has become culturally entrenched in city politics.
He said cartels have had a free flow in areas like garbage collection and drug procurement because of a lack of political goodwill to implement rules.
"I have had meetings with county government workers, they just say so long as we have political cover from the governor, so long as we know you will not throw us under the bus, we are ready to implement the rules," Sakaja said.