Kenya: Sonko Now Lifts Nairobi Matatu CBD Ban After Outcry, Traffic Chaos

Matatus pick up passengers along Murang'a Road in nairobi on December 3, 2018 when a ban prohibiting them from accessing the CBD took effect.
4 December 2018

Nairobi — Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has now lifted the ban against Public Service Vehicles entering the Central Business District (CBD) after complaints from commuters and the ensuing traffic chaos witnessed on Monday.

In a statement, the governor stated that this would allow for consultations and enable the County Government find a lasting solution to congestion in the city.

He observed that commuters including the elderly and the sick suffered as a result of the ban and described it as unfortunate.

"Although the directive is well intentioned, many innocent commuters, including senior citizens and those with health challenges requiring emergency medical attention, expectant mothers and children traveling with their parents, all suffered untold inconvenience, and this is regrettable," he stated.

He acknowledged the necessity to have contingent measures before enforcement of such key decisions and pointed out that he had met with the affected PSV operators with a view to agreeing on an acceptable solution.

"This is to facilitate further consultation with all affected parties, in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of vehicular congestion."

He reassured all commuters of the County Government's commitment to promote the best, most sustainable and most economical means of transport into and out of Nairobi.

"Chocking traffic gridlocks have negatively affected all businesses in the county. These gridlocks have the impact of choking our socio-economic growth. We cannot procrastinate. We cannot lose any more time. We cannot pretend to be moving forward when every day we are stuck in traffic jams for hours. People are forced to wake up before dawn to try and 'beat' the same traffic. This is what my government seeks a solution for."

While appearing before the Senate Public Investment Committee on Monday, Sonko assured that the matatu ban into the Central Business District was not intended to punish residents but to restore order in the city's public transport sector.

There was an outcry from commuters who were forced to walk into the CBD after being dropped in matatu stages located outside the city centre.

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