A tough talking Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has sent a strong warning to Nairobi Governor Johnstone Sakaja telling him that he will not allow him to destroy businesses.
DP Gachagua said as long as he is the deputy president, he will not allow anybody least of them Sakaja to destroy businesses saying the Kenya Kwanza government was elected to protect and promote businesses.
He said removing upcountry matatus from the famous Tea Room stage in downtown Nairobi would kill businesses in that entire district including River Road, Accra Road up to Kirinyaga Road.
Gachagua warned that removing matatu inside the city would hurt the economy the city and throw many people out of business.
He said asking traders taking goods to Marigiti market to terminate their journeys at Westlands for instance would make it impossible for commodities to reach the market and put them out of business.
Gachagua said President Uhuru’s government fell out with the people because it failed to protect businesses and destroyed them putting thousands of traders in misery.
“As long as Iam the DP, I will not allow anybody to destroy businesses not just in Nairobi but all parts of the country. Iam asking all businesspeople to continue working without fear. President Ruto and I will protect,” he said.
Gachagua has been at loggerheads with Sakaja after the governor said he would be removing matatus from entering the Central Business Distrct (CBD) in an effort to decongest the city.
He said that vehicles originating from Waiyaki Way could terminate their journeys at Westlands and those from Mt Kenya region could terminate even in Ruiru or around Kenyatta University.
The move was immediately opposed by matatu operators especially from Mt Kenya region who said they would be put out of business where DP Gachagua agreed with them and asked Sakaja to slow down and seek consultations.
In a lengthy interview with Inooro FM tonight, Gachagua said he had already pronounced himself on the issue and repeated that he will not allow anybody to destroy any business and said any move that is likely to affect businesses must be subjected to extensive discussions.
Gachagua also supported club owners saying rather that close the clubs that cost millions to put up and which have employed thousands of Kenyans, Sakaja should discuss with the owners on how the noise can be reduced to acceptable levels.
He said Kenya Kwanza government is pro-business and it is working hard to improve the business environment so that businesspeople can earn more from their sweat.
Gachagua said traders and businessmen in the city center are not complaining of congestion saying those complaining are those living in Karen, Runda and other up-market estates.
He dismissed allegations that he was a tribalist saying he asked Mt Kenya people to support Sakaja even when there was Polycarp Igathe and Margaret Wanjiru who were from his community.
Gachagua said the notion that whenever people from Mt Kenya meet to discuss their interests was tribalism has been overtaken by time.