19 September 2017

Kenya: Sonko Suspends Matatu Ban in Nairobi CBD for a Month

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has suspended for one month the directive to ban public service vehicles from the city central business district which was to start on Wednesday.

This comes at a time when there is an ongoing infighting between two matatu groups which forced operators and matatu owners to seek intervention from the county government.

The Matatu Owners Association is at loggerheads with the Matatu Welfare Association which had called for a strike on Wednesday which the owners defied.

In a meeting attended by public service vehicle owners, drivers and sacco chairmen vowed to dismantle the two unions saying that they have failed to represent them.

Speaking at Charter Hall, Mr Sonko said that order is needed in the city and will he only give matatus one month before the ban is finally effected.

"We need to help one another in this city. Once you fail in this one month there will be nothing left but to enforce the law. The ball is in your court. We either work together or [you] face the law," said Mr Sonko.


He also gave conditions which the matatus must adhere to during the one-month moratorium.

They include a requirement not to double park at any stage or obstruct other motorists and businesses.

The matatus also not allowed to make U-turns in the middle of city streets.

The tough-talking governor also said the matatus should not play loud music within the city.

He said that those who thought that Nairobi would be a slum after he takes over as governor are in for a rude shock insisting he strive to make it a better city.

On the issue of security of passengers, the governor said the county will ensure there will be regular patrols and also light up all the streets.

He added that on Wednesday, 300 traffic marshals will be deployed to ensure the directives given will be adhered to before the total ban is effected.

City Road and Transport Chief Officer Fredrick Karanja said that the county government lacks land to provide holding grounds for the matatus.

He said that the gazette notice will take effect after the one-month grace period.

Speaking separately, Matatu Welfare Association Chairman Dickson Mbugua said that they had not been consulted before the notice was issued.


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