Governor Sonko Stops Charges For Small-Scale Traders, Takes On Land Grabbers

Governor Sonko is making headway in keeping one of his campaign promises of reducing levies paid to the city by small-scale traders.

Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe had on September 14, written a memo to county chief officers directing a ban on fees charged on the traders.

“The collection of the following fees and charges domiciled in your sector must be stopped forthwith until the county government comes up with a convenient and reliable method of charging the same,” read part of the memo.

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During the official opening of the assembly on Thursday last week, Governor Mike Sonko in his address reiterated his promise while outlining a few new plans.

“I propose to abolish the daily fee charged on ‘mama mbogas’. This will go a long way in putting more money in the pockets of Nairobians,” said the county boss.

He added that his administration would move the traders to designated areas as a short-term measure “as the county government seeks to work on legislation that will ensure hawkers are allowed to do their business on specific days and on specific streets within defined hours”.

“This is in line with the constitutional right of every Kenyan to earn a living,” he said.

Small-scale traders that are set to operate for free are hawkers outside the city center who used to pay KSh30 daily, transporters of red soil, manure and confectionery (KSh50) and those offloading goods per trip (KSh500).

The weekly kiosk charge of KSh250 was also abolished but owners of the establishments are required to get single business permits electronically.

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Governor Sonko has, meanwhile, also taken on land grabbers in the County. He published a list of Nairobi businessmen and lawyers whom he said are responsible.

In the series of Twitter posts, Sonko said that in the past three years, over 10 families in Nairobi have lost properties worth billions of shillings to the cartel. He also put up 12 other properties which he said were in danger of being auctioned by the cartels.

Here is the Twitter Post revealing the alleged land grabbers.

According to the governor, the cartel targets property owners who have not cleared their land rates arrears.

He has promised to conduct official searches at the lands registry this week to get details of property owners with arrears so as to alert them in good time.