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It’s now time to walk the talk, Nairobi residents tell new governor Sonko

Nairobi residents hope the new leadership at City Hall will translate into cheaper ways of doing business and enhanced service delivery to improve their standards of living.

During campaigns, Mike Sonko and his deputy Polycarp Igathe banked on their promises to improve service delivery in the capital and uplift the lives of their constituents. City voters are ready for them to start walking the talk.

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Dickson Were, a phone repair shop owner along Muindi Mbingu Street, said his profits had dipped after the cost of licences went up.

Doing business

He said his small business was expected to pay for a fire licence (Sh4,500), garbage licence (Sh3,000), general licence (Sh15,000), music licence (Sh3,500) and annual fire extinguisher inspection, which attracts additional charges, on top of his rent.

“The cost of doing business in the city has gone up over the years and I would urge the new government to lower the cost of licences,” he said.

Garbage, which has been an eyesore for city residents, is among the priority issues traders want addressed.

Boutique owners operating along Moi Avenue say illegal dumping of waste in the backstreet just behind Nation Centre had deprived them of clients who can’t stand the smell.

The city generates 2,400 tonnes of waste daily and most of it doesn’t make it to the designated Dandora dumpsite.

County trucks in need of repair and cartels in the business have made it almost impossible to keep the city clean.

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Raw sewage

“We are also tired of jumping over heaps of garbage and raw sewage whenever we go shopping for food at Wakulima market,” said Cindy Kinyua, a stall owner.

“The city is still reeling from a cholera outbreak and we would hate to see a repeat.”

The announcement by Governor-elect Sonko that he would halve parking fees to Sh150 from the current Sh300 once he was elected excited many, who are now holding him to his word.

“It’s a reprieve to have a change of government and as soon as they are settled in office, I don’t expect the county askari to harass me by demanding a Sh300 parking fee,” said Eliud Morara, a taxi driver operating outside Simmers Club.

Rates, building permits and single-business permits are also set to be minimised according to the Sonko manifesto, but this would mean a reduction in revenue for the county, which stands at Sh8.1 billion in the last financial year.

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