City Hall: No turning back on matatu CBD ban

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City Hall has vowed that the ban on matatus from accessing the city centre will continue even as it readies for a legal battle over the directive.

Nairobi Transport and Roads Executive Mohamed Dagane said that the ban will continue,  explaining that the traffic jam experienced on Monday was occasioned by confusion at the designated termini.

He expressed optimism that all will be streamlined in the coming days.

“Part of the reason for the jam today was the confusion at the dropping areas. This should streamline in the coming days as it becomes clear on the termini operations,” said Mr Dagane.

He said that the county has deployed 250 city inspectorate officers with the help from 350 police officers from Nairobi and 20 senior officers to monitor the operation.

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NO GOING BACK

Mr Dagane’s chief officer Engineer Frederick Karanja said there is no going back on the directive.

“We will not go back on it. We have to improve whatever is there until it works. We have been meeting them and they were given one month to manage themselves and they did not. It is now almost a year now and now they have to be managed. They are just in a panic mode,” said Eng Karanja.

He said that they have met matatu operators severally in the past and even gave them a window to self-regulate but they have failed.

He accused the operators of deliberately creating gridlock to get sympathy from the public and generate negativity over the ban.

“You will never have enough spaces. What they are looking for is a holding ground which does not exist and we are telling them that we do not have it and we will not provide any. The players can create gridlock to generate negativity. They could be doing it deliberately. This is the kind of resistance that we expected but with time they will be sorted out,” he said.

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CIRCULAR BUSES

The chief officer said that the elderly and people with disability will be catered for as the county will soon avail circular buses that will be rotating through the termini picking anyone who will want to be picked from the termini.

“Most of the termini are in the city centre and it will not bear heavily on them but we will provide circular buses to help in their transportation to the city centre. The ban has just began today but you will see the buses soon,” he said.

Nairobi Central OCPD Robinson Thuku said that they have enough officers on the ground to enforce the directive, adding that the officers will be on the streets until all the matatus comply.

Nairobi County chief officer Enforcement Tito Kilonzi said that the county traffic marshals are working together with the police officers to divert vehicles to the designated termini.

“I am currently on the ground to oversee the enforcement. It is a multi-agency enforcement effort. We have a strong force of police officers and traffic marshals who are on the ground to effect the ban. No stone is going to be left unturned as we want to see sanity restored into the capital city,” said Mr Kilonzi.

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