Kenya: Ministry Halts Nairobi Car-Free Days Proposal

Heavy traffic on University Way in the city centre on January 22, 2019.
31 January 2019

The Transport ministry has deferred the implementation of the "car-free" days plan in Nairobi's city centre.

The decision was taken to allow for the registration of hawkers who will be operating on the designated streets.

In a statement, Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said due to security concerns, all hawkers will have to be registered using biometric kits.

He said the registration is yet to be completed, prompting the indefinite postponement of the trial run of the plan aimed at decongesting the city.

MATATUS

The announcement came shortly after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) threatened to sue the ministry over the proposal.

In a letter to the Attorney-General on Wednesday, LSK chairman Allen Gichuhi said the directive did not go through public participation.

"While this is an idealistic, laudable attempt at beginning to solve the problem, it is impractical and unlawful in its execution in the absence of public participation," Mr Gichuhi said in his letter.

Meanwhile, matatu operators have announced that they will not pay next month's seasonal parking tickets until they reach an agreement with county officials.

FEES

The Federation of Public Transport Operators on Wednesday said the new parking fees are "illogical and unfair".

"Matatus carry very many people while small cars ferry one or two people. It is unfair to increase our rates," the federation's organising secretary Dickson Mbugua said.

However, Transport executive Mohamed Dagane said parking fees for PSVs have not been raised.

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