The ongoing political war between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagwa and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja is far from over after the two publicly showed their unwillingness to work as a team during the flagging off of the Community Health Promoters (CHP) kits at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Monday by President Ruto.
The DP was seen snubbing the governor with analysts now saying that DP Gachagua and Sakaja had in the past expressed contrary opinions, with the significant point of contention being plans by the County Government of Nairobi to move matatu operators from the Central Business District (CBD).
Sources say the renewed rivalry was caused by Sakaja’s latest efforts to relocate several matatu saccos operating at Rhino Petro Station along Rescourse Road. Gachagua worries that the targeted Matatu Sacco destination is his political stronghold of the Mount Kenya region.
In a letter dated August 30, 2023, signed by Boniface Nyamu, chief officer in charge of mobility, and addressed to Kangema Travellers Sacco, Mathioya Sacco, Libera Sacco, Kigumo Travellers, Inter County Sacco, Kamuna Sacco, Thika Road Sacco, and Namu Sacco, the saccos have been accused of non-adherence to the law governing PSV operations in Nairobi.
The letter reads in part, “On several occasions, the undersigned, together with the officers from the city inspectorate, have made impromptu visits to various parts of the central business district and discovered that you are operating in total disregard of the law. To be specific, the following anomalies were identified in your operations”:
The Sacco’s have been accused of operating within the CBD without an authorization letter from the county government of Nairobi. They are further accused of operating a picking and dropping point that is dangerous and not designated at Rhino Total Petrol Station along Rescourse Road.
The letter reads, “In view of the above and to ensure seamless compliance with the law, you are urgently required to cease operating from the aforementioned point. By a copy of this letter, the director of the city inspectorate is required to ensure that you do not continue operating at the aforesaid petro station”.
Sources say it is this letter that has angered the DP, who had earlier claimed that he had personally mobilized the Kikuyu votes for Sakaja, whom he has now accused of hurting their matatu business. The affected Sacco managers are now claiming that the county government has been discriminating against them as they have been operating from the said areas for decades.