Transport along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway was temporarily paralyzed after matatu operators from Naivasha held a demonstration to protest the decision to erect a roadblock on the road.
The over 100 operators were joined by members of the public in calling for the removal of the roadblock near Raini centre 10kms from Naivasha town.
The roadblock was mounted to help nab those fleeing from Nairobi during the current lockdown but it has ended up inconveniencing hundreds of people travelling around Naivasha sub-county.
According to the chairman of matatu operators in Naivasha Stephen Mungai, residents of Kinungi, Ihindu and Fly-Over centre had been cut off from Naivasha town.
Mungai noted that ferrying of farm produce to and from the rural centres had become near impossible as matatus had been kept away while taxis were operating.
“We support measures by the government to stop the spread of Covid-19 but this roadblock has ended up locking us from our home and making it impossible to access Naivasha town,” he said.
The chairman said that he had raised the issue with the Governor and other senior government officers but no action had been taken.
A driver Simon Mburu called for the relocation of the roadblock saying that it had affected both the operators and traders.
He said that accessing essential services like hospitals and supermarkets was a major challenge due to the closure of the road.
“The border of Nakuru and Nyandarua County falls in Fly-Over trading centre and this where the roadblock should be taken,” he said.
A trader John Waithuki from Kinungi market said that ferrying their produce had become a major challenge forcing them to increase their prices.
He said that they were using at least two vehicles from Naivasha to the market as security officers were barring any public service vehicle from passing the barrier.
“We are residents of Naivasha town but this barrier has alienated us from the other people and we are wondering if the rural areas in Naivasha are also under lockdown,” he said.
Speaking on phone, Naivasha sub-county commissioner Mbogo Mathioya defended the roadblock saying that it was meant to arrest those fleeing from Nairobi.
“This roadblock is part of the measures put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 and we don’t have any plans to relocate it and we are asking residents to obey the law,” he said.