4 December 2018

Kenya: Full Statement - Sonko Suspends Matatu CBD Ban

Photo: Martin Mukangu/Daily Nation
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.

Yesterday, Monday 3d December 2018, that Nairobi City County Government with full support from the National Government, effected Gazette Notice 4479 of 12th May 2017, effectively banning Public Transport Vehicles from the Nairobi Central Business District.

This was part of measures to decongest the city centre, and followed months of planning, as well as public and stakeholder participation.

However, I have noted with deep concern the plight of Nairobi residents as a result of the ban, and hereby announce that the full implementation of this directive has been suspended with immediate effect.

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

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. It also became clear that it is necessary to have contingent measures before enforcement of such key decisions.

I have met this morning with the affected PSV operators with a view to agreeing an acceptable solution that has less negative implication on all affected.

During the coming days, I will continue to hold discussions with affected parties to find a way forward As a trustee of the Executive Power in Nairobi City County Government, I wish to reassure all commuters of the best interests of my County Government 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.

The time to address this monster is now. 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. We must open a new chapter for Nairobi.

Let us all be proactive to resolve these endemic traffic gridlocks that threaten our existence and growth as a proud, emerging city. Let us all be the solution.

Both at a personal and corporate level. Not just the PSVs.

Those among us who are neighbours should consider car-pooling.

Let us make public transport appealing to the point where we no longer shun it in the name of "class" Let us mind the environment too, to eliminate the rising number of polluting private cars.

We must all pull together to dismantle the disorganized traffic attitudes and entrenched behaviours that lead to massive loss of man-hours and burned fuel in traffic jams.

We must reengineer our minds to accept that we have over time, all adopted a hopeless and defeatist traffic mentality where we refuse to exercise basic courtesy to each other on our roads.

This must stop with you, the individual road user Let us promise and deliver to ourselves positive change.

For the sake of our city and for the sake of our children.

God Bless Nairobi, God Bless Kenya.

Mike Mbuvi Sonko, EGH Governor.

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