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Market and boda boda operators in Naivasha have challenged Nakuru county government to waive various fees levelled against them.

They noted that since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, business had dropped by over 70 percent adversely affecting their earnings.

This emerged when police officers under the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU) donated masks and sanitizers to the operators in Mai Mahiu.

The security officers who are based in Mai Mahiu raised funds and bought over 1,000 masks for the operators and traders following an acute shortage of the protective gear.

According to the operators chairman Francis Ng’ethe, the pandemic and the curfew had adversely affected their trade.

He said that many of them were employed and they could not raise enough fees to pay for house rent and fuel.

“We are asking the county government to waive the weekly fees they charge us and the landlords to also suspend collecting rents for two months,” he said.

The sentiments were echoed by a trader Sarah Wanjiru who noted that they were incurring daily losses in the Mai Mahiu market.

She attributed this to the current situation which had seen their customers drop sharply and the cost of basic items soaring sharply.

“The county government and landlord lord should understand the predicaments that we are undergoing and suspend any payment until the situation normalises,” he said.

The officer in charge of CIPU Senior Sergeant Alfred Rioba noted that nearly all security officers in the area relied on boda boda operators for transport.

“We have decided to support the operators with our own funds because they play a critical role and in case one gets sick they can easily spread the disease,” he said.

He added that they would continue to support the operators and traders in the town as many could afford to buy the sanitizers and masks.

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