The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nakuru Matatu Crews, MP Row Over Bus Stop Space

14 seater matatu in Nakuru town on feb 8 2012,a row has emerged between the matatu operators and owners and politicians on the other side.pic\file Matatu owners and operators have clashed with the Nakuru county government over management of a bus terminus.

Nakuru county matatu operators and players chairman Stephen Muli has accused leaders of allowing hawkers and food vendors to illegally construct stalls in matatu termini. Speaking to the Star in Nakuru town yesterday, Muli said there is little space for matatus to conduct their bisiness because termini have been invaded by the traders.

He said the worst hit terminus is the Mashambani stage, where food vendors' stalls hampered transport business especially during the Christmas and New Year holidays. "People come to the terminus to get transportation, not to eat. But the terminus is dominated by people hawking food," Muli said.

He accused Nakuru town East MP David Gikaria of pushing for the relocation of the food vendors to the stage and urged the county government to demolish the structures as there was no space for matatus to park at the terminus.

"The county government has been paying lip service to plans of decongesting the central business district while elected leaders are making the situation worse," Muli said. In a swift rejoinder, Gikaria rubbished the claims by the matatu operators and termed their claims as selfish.

He denied that the recently constructed stalls were causing congestion and added that the terminus was not exclusively meant for matatu operators but for all small scale traders.

In a telephone interview, the MP accused the matatu operators of engaging in "cheap propaganda" and urged them to consider moving the bus terminus out of the central business distrcict as a way of decongesting the town.

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