Matatu Owners want holding ground for their vehicles

By Samuel Musita

Matatu Owners now want Nairobi County to give them a holding ground for their vehicles to enable them effect the new parking directive without disruption of services to commuters.

Speaking after a meeting with stakeholders from the matatu industry, Chairman Matatu Owners Association, Simon Kimutai said the new directive possess a great danger to the to their business  considering   the amount of money they have invested.

His sentiments were supported by Matatu owner’s National coordinator Albert Karakacha, who called for fair treatment of all matatu saccos.

Karakacha also demanded cross city licenses to allow matatu operators to traverse across counties as opposed to the current situation where only a few operators are allowed and others restricted.

The meeting also resolved that  drivers  be trained in areas such as etiquette and discipline with operators in the  industry being  urged operators to  lead by example in the fight against corruption.

A week ago  the Nairobi County Government and Matatu Owners Association (MOA) reached an agreement that no matatus will be locked out of the CBD, but proposed that only two buses will be allowed at a terminus at a time.

In the meeting led by Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke and officials from the Matatu Welfare Association, Matatu Owners Association and National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the stakeholders also agreed to call off a planned strike that was aimed at protesting the new contingency measures announced earlier by Governor Kidero.

Last week Nairobi County government directed that no matatu should be parked in the Central Business District warning that matatu drivers who will fail to use designated parking slots will be arrested.

It has not gone well with operators who are accusing the County government of failing to offer an alternative.

Of late Nairobi CBD has endured heavy traffic congestion, a vice that has received complaints even from the commuters who are accusing the operators of not being properly coordinated.

But supposing the matatus were to remain in CBD, how realistic is the possibility of them being organized and coordinated? That remains a major challenge for the County government and the matatus operators.



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