A deserted KFA Matatu Station in Nakuru town on September 29, 2020 after public transport owners withdrew their vehicles following a disagreement with the county government over the relocation of the terminus. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has told off players in the public transport sector over their continued boycott to offer services to residents demanding for their return to the town centre.
Kinyanjui said his administration will instead strengthen its enforcement department to ensure the new plan for the town succeeds with the matatus operating outside the central business district.
“We shall revamp our enforcement team, including giving them modern equipment, recruit more and use technology to have all corners of our upcoming city neat and secure,” said Kinyanjui.
The governor dismissed claims that he had denied the matatu operators audience.
“Two weeks ago I called them for a meeting. A few attended and later stormed out without listening to our plan. The meeting ended prematurely as they vowed to call for mass protests,” said Kinyanjui.
He maintained that the county government’s plan to have the matatu termini located outside the town will continue to ensure the town’s physical planning succeeds.
“The previous stages were set up in 1962 when the population of the town was barely 5,000 people. Today the people are in millions. We cannot continue to choke our development by sticking to decisions made when parameters were totally different,” said the governor.
Central Rift Matatu Owners Association Chairman Stephen Muli, however, maintained the protests would continue until their cry was heard. “We want a conducive environment for our businesses, not the current deplorable matatu stages,” said Muli.
Treasurer David Wamathingira said they would only operate from the termini outside town if their conditions were improved.
“We are at war with the county government for relocating us to places with no basic amenities. We urge the governor to allow us back to town as he repairs them and relocate us when they are ready,” Wamathingira said.