Commuters stranded as matatu strike begins in Meru


Commuters were stranded across Meru County on Monday morning after matatu operators’ strike began.

The matatu operators were protesting over police’s failure to crack down on non-compliant vehicles.

No matatu was allowed to enter or leave Meru from Chuka, Isiolo and Nanyuki.

In Meru town, police engaged drivers, who burnt tyres and barricaded the Meru-Embu road with stones, in running battles.

The strike kicked off despite an attempt by police on Friday, to evict taxis from Tuskys stage in Meru town.


North Imenti OCPD Peter Kimani last week said they had engaged the matatu operators and that there was no need for a strike

But Meru Matatu Owners Association (Moa) Secretary Joseph Bundi blamed Meru County Commissioner Allan Machari of stopping the crackdown on ‘non-compliant’ vehicles.

“The police had started enforcing the traffic rules but the county commissioner stopped it. We will continue with the strike as planned,” Mr Bundi said.

Mr Cyrus Riungu, a taxi driver who has been operating at the Tuskys terminus, accused police of disregarding the law in evicting them, saying they were compliant.


However, the OCPD said the vehicles kicked out of Tuskys terminus were licensed to operate as taxis but have been operating as matatus.

He said they would be allocated taxi bays from where they would operate.

The Moa officials accused NTSA and police of creating unfair competition by allowing Toyota Probox and Sienta cars to operate as matatus.

Mr Bundi said when the Interior CS Fred Matiang’i ordered all Public Service Vehicles to comply, matatu owners spent up to Sh400,000 to adhere to all requirements. 


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