Kenya: Sakaja Rushes to Court to Lift Sonko's Matatu CBD Ban

Commuters walk to work in the CBD after being dropped off at the Railways terminus on December 3, 2018.
3 December 2018

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja moved to court on Monday to seek orders lifting the ban prohibiting Public Service Vehicles from accessing the city centre.

The ban, which started Monday morning, requires all matatus to operate from designated termini and not allowed into CBD to pick or drop off passengers.

Senator Sakaja cited lack of public participation and availability of viable alternatives in bid to block Mr Sonko's ban..

"I'm in court on the same. When we deal officially and quietly on such issues you complain we are quiet and not speaking for mwananchi. When we speak you complain that we are ranting on Twitter 😃," he tweeted.

On Sunday, the Senator had urged Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to provide alternatives for commuters to access the city before the ban takes effect.

He urged Sonko to rescind the "unfair and rushed decision" in order for proper planning to be done.

"Before you tell people that wasifike hapa ama wasifike pale, provide the alternative, usiangalie matatu kama matatu, angalia abiria," he said.

As I said yesterday and before. The move by @MikeSonko to ban matatus from the CBD is premature, and unfair to ordinary citizens. You don't ban matatus before providing alternatives for commuters. MUST BE RESCINDED immediately and proper planning done. #MatatuCBDBan

- Sakaja Johnson (@SakajaJohnson) December 3, 2018

Starehe MP Charles Njagua aka Jaguar lamented that the gazetted termini are not enough to accommodate the high number of matatus in Nairobi.

"There is also the issue of security. When you drop people in Ngara, it is not safe to walk to town as most Nairobians start coming to work very early," he said.

He urged the county government to engage other leaders to come up with solutions so as to avoid chaos in the city. He said proper planning is required to have more termini and security provided.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa said the ban is punishing his constituents who will not afford to connect from the Ngara terminus to town using taxis.

"We are asking the Nairobi county government to consider shelving that proposal until it is done in a very orderly way and ensure as the government we have invested in a working urban transport system," he said.

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