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Sakaja: Why I declined to cycle with First Lady Rachel Ruto on streets of Nairobi

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has revealed that he was among the leaders who were invited to cycle with First Lady Rachel Ruto in June but he chose not to.

On that occasion, the First Lady made news after she cycled from State House to Karura Forest to Gigiri for the UN Habitat Assembly, just a month after she cycled from State House to Karura Forest to create cycling awareness.

Speaking at Uhuru Park on Friday where he met with the creative and content creators, Governor Sakaja said he declined to take part in the cycling exercise due to the state of roads in the country.

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“I was supposed to cycle with the First Lady to Karura. I refused because I was embarrassed because we are cycling in the middle of the road. You should not be cycling in the middle of the road. You should be cycling on a cycle path,” Sakaja said.

The governor raised the issue while talking about public space grabbers who have penetrated even to pedestrian paths in some roads within the county, making it hard for cyclists as well.

First Lady Mama Rachel Ruto cycles from State House to the UN complex for the United Nations Habitat Assembly on June 06, 2023. FILE PHOTO

“I’m reclaiming those spaces, let us have jogging tracks, let us have cycle tracks,” Sakaja said while appealing on Nairobi residents to support his efforts to reclaim public spaces.

In his engagement with content creators, the Governor asked the youth to use the opportunity to sell the vibe of the city to their followers in social media platforms.

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He also stated that his administration will continue to work closely with content creators to ensure that they are not harassed by county officers during the weekends as they record their contents on the streets of Nairobi, which are open for all free of charge.

Speaking in the same event, Health County Executive Committee member Ms Susan Silantoi said the county has put in place measures to ensure artistes and the youth benefit directly from the county.

“Recently, as a cabinet, we passed festival funds that will allow us to have some flexibility in terms of how we are using our money for artists,” Ms Silantoi said.

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