Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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The demonstrating Boda boda operators in Lumakanda. [PHOTO|Joseph Amunya Otieno|West Fm]
Boda boda operators staged a peacefully demonstration within Lumakanda trading centre accusing the Lugari Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and County Council officers over what they termed as gross mismanagement of public funds and utility.
The over 100 enraged boda boda operators, cycled through major roads within Lumakanda town before pitching tent outside the Lugari District Commissioner’s offices.
Through their spokesperson Mr. Washington Mutsotso, the group presented a list of grievances to Lugari Senior District Officer Mr. Richard Ajwang on behalf of area District Commissioner Mr. Benjamin Njoroge who was away on official duties in Kakamega.
Regretting poor state of roads in the district, the group blamed Lugari county council and demanded the council to account for expenditure of cash, which it claimed amounts to Sh2.9 million annualy, collected from them in form of taxes.
“We have on several occasions approached council officials on this issue requesting for rehabilitation of our poor roads, but they have always escaped under the guise that roads no longer fall within their mandate. Why then should the council continue charging us 30 shillings per motorbike daily?” asked Mutsotso.
The Lugari Senior District Officer Mr. Richard Ajwang addressing the demonstrators.
The boda boda operators warned that they will no longer pay taxes to the council unless the council was willing and ready to repair roads in the area and put sheds for them at designated points.
On CDF, the group called upon area Member of Parliament Mr. Cyrus Jirongo to intervene by sacking and taking taking legal action against the kitty’s officials who they described as corrupt and further urged the government through the Ministry of Planning to audit how the kitty’s funds have been used in the area.
“CDF funds have not benefited area residents. We don’t know what is happening. There are no tangible and meaningful projects to account for millions of shillings that the government has pumped to this district. Most of it has ended up lining individual pockets,” said Mutsotso.
The boda boda operators appealed to security agencies to investigate shops and food kiosks for stocking outlawed drugs including illicit brews, which they blamed for hampering efforts to reduce crime within Lumakanda trading centre and its environs.
Responding to their grievances, Mr. Ajwang appealed for calmness and promised to convene a meeting with council and CDF officials where issues raised by the operators will be deliberated.
He, however, praised the group for peacefully demonstrating.
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