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Chaos in Migori as boda boda cyclists protest new levies

03 September 2014, 13:00 Oduor Omondi

Migori - Business came to a standstill for hours in Migori town Tuesday after boda boda operators clashed with County Government askaris over operation levies.

The morning clash also sucked in police officers as more than 100 motorcycle taxis were impounded and drivers arrested for defying paying a KES 400 per week levies up from KES 100.

Trouble started when the town’s boda boda operators refused to part with the required levy protesting the move by the County government to impose the more than 300 percent increment on them.

Attempts by the levy clerks to collect the new fees by force from the operators at designated toll stations sparked a big clash as the two parties engaged in fist cuff exchanges and stone throwing, forcing senior county officials to call police for assistance.

Read Also: Boda Boda's banned in towns, in new regulations

It later turned into running battles with sporadic teargas lobbying from police as members of the public ran helter-skelter for their dear lives.

Shops and kiosks especially near the County government offices where the chaos concentrated were hurriedly closed for fear of looting.

The taxi operators claimed that the County government had decided to introduce the new fees without consulting them.

They questioned why they were being taxed heavily compared to other neighbouring counties where a levy of only KES100 is charged per week.

Read Also: Boda Boda operators protest over new transport rules

“We are also not happy with the County government for sacking some of our colleagues who were recently employed as clerks without good reasons,” said John Ogoye, a spokesperson of the protesting boda boda operators.

Migori OCPD, Joshua Opiyo, warned the group of a severe punishment if they are caught engaging in criminal acts.

“They must operate within the laid down laws or look for a place they think they can do their business under the jungle law. Not here in Migori,” warned Opiyo while addressing the press soon after calm returned in the town.

Efforts to reach County Secretary, Christopher Rusana, to clarify on the new fees were futile as he could not be reached on phone.

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