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Rotich ordered to respond in boda boda suit

Boda Boda
Boda Boda riders in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court has given Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich and the Attorney-General 10 days to file evidence in a petition by politicians challenging mandatory insurance cover for motorcycles and tricycles.

Certifying the case filed through lawyer Francis Kalwa as urgent, Justice Weldon Korir said there were “weighty constitutional issues raised in the case which calls for expeditious determination”.

Mr Kalwa told Justice Korir that Mr Rotich and the AG who have been named as defendants have not responded to the suit by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and other politicians despite being served with the pleadings.

But a State counsel sought time to put in a response, saying the issues raised in the suit were weighty and needed proper answers.

“The defendants are hereby given 10 days to respond to the weighty constitutional issues. The case will be heard July 25,” Justice Korir ruled.

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The politicians want the court to restrain the Treasury secretary from implementing the proposal in his 2019/20 financial budget, arguing that it would lead to massive unemployment and huge loses.

They further argue that the proposals were not shared with members of the public for comment before they were introduced.

Mr Rotich had in this year’s Budget indicated that all boda bodas and tuk tuk operators would be required to obtain third party insurance to cover passengers and pedestrians in the event of an accident.

This would be effected by amending the provisions of the insurance.

The petitioners, however, claim that the Mr Rotich should have consulted with the Attorney General before making the order to ensure the proposed amendments are not in conflict with the constitution.

In an affidavit, Mr Sonko claims that the boda bodas and tuk-tuk operators will now find themselves in a position where they are required to pay excessive and obstructive fees in the form of third party insurance without being given any opportunity to debate or discuss the approval.

According to the Governor, the amendments and regulations were not shared with members of the public for comment before being introduced.

“…It follows that there ought to have been sufficient public participation on every issue it intended to introduce,” says Mr Sonko in an affidavit.

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