Hawkers from all walks of life have thronged nearly every street in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. The much-fancied Nairobi’s Central Business District is now crowded with hawkers and thugs who are masquerading as traders.
Walking down the CBD you are almost cautious of the next person who might still from you. Street urchins are everywhere, and they have now shifted their operational base to Nairobi’s uptown.
The streets that were once clean and clear of any obstacles are now popular with hawkers who are trying to outdo each other in selling their wares. The end game of this competition is a messed up scenario of any marketplace.
Months ago, you would walk around Nairobi’s CBD at peace, without the fear of being mugged or disturbed by hawkers shouting to sell their wares.
Back then, you would fancy walking down the beloved streets of Nairobi CBD at any time of the day.
Then came Governor Mbuvi Mike Sonko, instead of making Nairobi a better place he messed it up with his populist policies.
In the run-up to the August 8 polls, Sonko was tipped to be the next governor of Nairobi. He rode on his populist personality but much wasn’t expected from a candidate whose education credentials have always been questionable. In fact, what we are currently experiencing in Nairobi is a typical Sonko’s modus operandi.
He beat his predecessor Dr. Evans Kidero at the ballot. While Kidero barely succeeded in transforming Nairobi, he must be given credit for what he did. Governance analysts say that Nairobi is a complicated city. With a population of more than 5 million people, nearly an eighth of the country’s population, its resources are severely restrained.
It, therefore, calls for a concerted effort from both the national and the county government to ensure it thrives.
Kidero was an opposition governor. He was always at loggerheads with the national government for his involvement with the opposition. With a sour relationship with his bosses, they would more often than not limit his expenditure by cutting down on the budget provision. This clipped his chances of succeeding.
But Sonko is a Jubilee politician having won the gubernatorial seat on the party’s ticket. He is in good books with his bosses, as such, more is expected from him rather than just his populist antics.
He came into office promising revolution. He started by cleaning many streets within Nairobi which were predominantly littered with waste. With such a move, Nairobians knew that he is the kind of leader they needed to take charge of the city. But his energy barely lasted a few weeks.
Nairobi was back to its old self. Some streets in Nairobi’s downtown is still littered with heaps of garbage. Potholes are still synonymous with the streets. Matatus that were once banned in the CBD are hovering around breaking all the traffic rules and causing mayhem in the city.
Sonko, you need to bring sanity back to the city.