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Challenges facing the next Nairobi governor

The Nairobi gubernatorial debate has attracted nine candidates who will highlight their roadmap towards improving the services rendered to Nairobians.

These candidates have a lot to prove, as the elected one will be in custody of billions of tax payers revenue to offer services to residents for a five-year period.

The candidates include Ms Esther Waringa (Independent), Mr Harman Singh (Safina party), Mr Polycarp Igathe (Jubilee), Ms Agnes Kagure (Independent), Mr Cleophas Mutua (Ford Kenya), Mr Denis Ochieng (LDP), Ms Nancy Wambui (USAWA), Mr Kenneth Kinara (UPA) and Mr Johnson Sakaja (UDA).

They will be respectively deputized by Mr Leonard Kipkorir, Mr Michael Mutunga, Mr Philip Kyalo, Mr Abel Onchari, Mr William Otieno, Mr Steven Paul, Mr John Ngunjiri, Ms Lilian Achieng and Mr James Njoroge.

The debate will take place at Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) with five journalists moderating it.

They are; Serfine Achieng (KBC), Ayub Abdi (K24), Mark Masai (NTV), Zubeida Kananu (KTN News) and Wahiga Mwaura (Citizen TV).

The challenges that locals in Nairobi expect to be addressed before they settle on their favorite candidates include;

1. Traffic Jam – Nairobi mainly experiences traffic snarl-ups during peak hours.

Police, reckless driving including over lapping, roundabouts, and poor state of roads in some areas have been listed as some of the causes of the congestion. The jury is still out on a Sh88 billion Expressway built to ease traffic between the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Westlands with the elevated road mostly known for its beauty and accidents.

2. Rowdy city county askaris – The city county officers are known to be violent towards hawkers and other road users mainly owing to their move to take the law in their hands leading to injury and loss of property.

Nairobi is home to many hawkers who’ve illegally taken over street walks to advertise and sell their wares but how to handle these challenges in a legal way should be the new governor’s headache.

3. Bodaboda menace – The motorbikes, commonly known as bodabodas, are known to rarely follow traffic rules. Most of them drive on the wrong side of the road, drop and pick passengers at non designated areas.

They are also known as a means of transport for robbers who steal from residents and escape. Muggers also take advantage of the motorbikes that usually maneuver easily on traffic to snatch valuable goods that include; handbags, money and mobile phones from civilians.

A ban on motorbikes operating within the Central Business District has failed to hold.

4. Lack of adequate amenities – Have you ever tried walking in the streets and before you make any step you find yourself stepping on someone? The number of people who come into Nairobi on a daily basis has been increasing annually. This leads to the decreasing of space especially within the streets. This has in turn led to lack of amenities including toilets.

5. Daring thieves – Statistics indicate you will likely be mugged in Nairobi as compared to anywhere in the country. These include who are able to open your bag, cut your handbag or also take your phone without anyone noticing. Others will only stop you in the midst of the road and openly tell you to give them money or they will end your life. Securing the lives and properties of Nairobians should be top on the new governor’s wish list.

6. Littered streets – The County government appears overwhelmed with the process of clearing garbage. Mostly you will find heaps of garbage lying in estates and within the CBD, leading to health hazards.