21 February 2012

Kenya: Matatu Owners Threaten Mega Strike

Photo: Bruce Hamilton
Matatus in Nairobi: The Association is accusing the Transport Minister of of plotting to plunge the country into a transport crisis.

Nairobi — Public transporters in Kenya have warned the public to prepare for the "mother of all strikes" to protest the Transport ministry's decision to phase out 14-seater matatus (taxis).

The Matatu Owners Association and the Matatu Welfare Association, issued a 21-day strike notice as they accused Transport Minister Amos Kimunya of plotting to plunge the country into a transport crisis.

They want the ministry to shelve the decision to allow the sector regulate itself.

In a show of unity, the two groups agreed to hold talks as they issued what they described as "Nakuru PSV Declaration", vowing to stage a major strike if their demands are not met by March 8.

The two groups made the announcement in a joint statement after a meeting held at Nuru Palace, attended by representatives from Nairobi, Mt Kenya, Coast, Nakuru and Kiambu.

The groups also invited several leaders including Naivasha MP John Mututho, junior Roads Minister Lee Kinyanjui, former Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara, officials from the Ministry of Transport and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

The chairman of the Matatu Welfare Association, Mr Dickson Mbugua, condemned the minister for "deliberately misadvising President Kibaki": "President Kibaki's legacy will be remembered for the expansion of infrastructure especially roads and this should not be distorted by the minister."

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