23 April 2014

Kenya: City Hall Official Alleges MCA Plot to Block Bus Plan

Nairobi — Nairobi County Transport Executive Evans Ondieki says plans to remove him are as a result of him not giving in to County Assembly Members who have been paid by cartels in the transport industry to derail the mass transit bus system, set to be introduced in July.

Speaking to Capital FM News on Wednesday, Ondieki indicated that he is honest in his work and will conduct all his business transparently despite pressure being piled on him to do otherwise.

He pointed out that plans to remove him as a result of 'non performance' was a ploy by the ward representatives to get rid of him and stated that he will not be rattled since he has a clear conscience.

"If they want to remove me, let them do it. As far as I know, I am the most hardworking County Executive at City Hall and I will not be intimidated. Those who are advocating for my removal have vested interests and I will not bow to them," he stated. "Everything has to be done honestly and in the light and that is what I am doing and will continue to do."

Ondieki has been criticised on his handling of the Mass Transit Bus system project, whose implementation ward leaders say, has been slow under his watch.

He is also accused of sending hooligans to threaten the County Assembly Members and alleging that the leaders took bribes from cartels, to oppose the project.

County Assembly Speaker, Alex ole Magelo on Tuesday adopted a motion criticising the conduct of the Executive member and invoked Section 62 of House Standing Orders that would set in motion the process for his removal.

He told the Committee for Transport and Infrastructure that this was the cause of wrangles between the Assembly, Chief Officers, the Executive Committee and project engineers.

He had further stated that he will not be intimidated by cartels in the matatu industry which were out to undermine plans to introduce the mass transit bus system in the city in June this year.

In the first phase, buses with a capacity of more than 62 passengers will be introduced and with time will phase out 14-seater vehicles which have been largely blamed for traffic jams within the Central Business District (CBD).

The bus transit system will start with three transport corridors, Athi River town to Kikuyu town, Thika to the Central Business District and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the CBD.

Special bus tracks will be built from Airport Road junction to Machakos and another one to Kikuyu through Waiyaki Way.

Two more bus routes will terminate at Bomas and Ruaka towns through Langata and Limuru roads respectively.

It will be funded by a European investor at an initial cost of Sh1 billion which will cover the cost of 200 buses which are to be increased to 378 by 2015 and then 2,000 buses.

The projected fixed fares will be Sh30 in all the routes.

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