A section of boda boda operators in Mandera County is up in arms protesting their unpaid attendance fee after gracing the Kenya Kwanza Alliance rally.
The boda boda operators were part of an entourage that included taxi operators who were mobilised to be part of Deputy President William Ruto’s entourage and crowd during his visit to the region on Wednesday.
However, shocking details have emerged to the effect that the boda boda operators and taxi drivers were supposed to be compensated for their attendance after the group went to report a breach of the agreement to the Mandera Police Station on Friday.
They accused a section of UDA leaders from the region who engaged their services for the ‘political venture’ of short-changing them and disappeared with their money after mobilising them the attend the DP’s rally.
“We were engaged by a Member of County Assembly (MCA) allied to UDA to escort the Deputy President from the airstrip to a hotel through the town but the guy has disappeared with our pay,” one boda boda operator said.
However, their claims could not be substantiated at the police station because much to their folly, they could not produce any written agreement of the said deal.
“The boda boda operators were here but we could not receive their complaint because they lacked a formal agreement that formed the basis for their complaint. It could be difficult for us to nail the suspect in this case,” a police officer at the station said.
Neboi MCA Abdi Adan Ali who stands accused of disappearing with the money in question dismissed the allegations raised by the boda boda and taxi operators saying the youth whose services they engaged had already been paid.
"We engaged twenty-five boda bodas and seventy-five taxi operators for the event and we have settled everyone for that purpose," Adan said.
Adan instead shifted the blame to the UDA deputy gubernatorial candidate Hussein Hassan Sheikh.
"Issues of transport for everyone who attended the function were handled by our deputy governor candidate and he can shed more light on the same," Adan said.
The UDA senatorial candidate Hassan Issack Hache expressed his disappointment in the events that led to the accusation by the boda boda and taxi operators.
He said there are some dishonest members amongst them and revealed Sh2.5 million was set aside to prepare the stage for Ruto’s campaign in the region.
"We have very dishonest members in our team and nobody is telling us what happened to the money that was given out for this event. Everyone we engaged is on our neck over unpaid dues," Hache said.
“Our team received a total of Sh2.5 million for this event but what I know is only about Sh700,000 was used. Our gubernatorial candidate is silent on the rest of the money and yet we have debts to settle.”
Hache said he would report the matter to the party headquarter for action.