How Kenyans reacted to ban of matatus from Nairobi CBD


Situation on Murang’a Road, Globe Cinema roundabout area | Photo Citizen TV
Situation on Murang’a Road, Globe Cinema roundabout area | Photo Citizen TV

In Summary

  • The new guidelines, ban matatus from picking up and dropping off passengers in the CBD.
  • Popular termini such as Odeon, Kencom, GPO, Commercial, OTC and Ambassador were unusually deserted.
  • PSVs in the capital had vowed to defy the order issued last Thursday, raising fears of a possible clash with authorities.

Hundreds of commuters in Nairobi were on Monday morning forced to walk to the Central Business District (CBD) as the county government enforced a ban on matatus accessing the city centre.

Residents aired their frustrations terming the move a miscalculation by the county government.

“We are asking the governor to stop this, we are going to have a problem with our bosses if we get to work late, ” one resident said.

“We can’t use tuk tuks or motor bikes because they are expensive, we are not prepared for this.”

Other Kenyans took to social media to air their views on the ban, some saying the move came too soon.

“This is so unfair. We set policies without a plan. This is the situation at the railway bridge going into town,” Benson Samia said in a tweet.

David Maina felt the county made the right choice saying no developed city has bus termini within the CBD.

“Kenyans have a habit of complaining about congestion and noise withing the CBD but are unwilling to accept changes to that effect. Please get this FACT in your mind: No developed city has matatu’s, ” he said.

Josh felt Governor Sonko was trying to implement a policy borrowed from a foreign country, adding that it would not work in Kenya.

“After copying American Accent days Ago, i guess Mike Sonko is copying this ban from somewhere and will throw it away after he completes his mission! #MatatuCBDBan wont last!, ” he tweeted.

Some had a neutral opinion about the ban on PSVs.

“Change is always painful. One day, one time, Matatus will stop entering the CBD. Is it today? Maybe, maybe not. But one day. That’s how we will start the conversation about Trams and Subways. #MatatuCBDBan,” Xtiandela tweeted.

 

Situation on Murang’a Road, Globe Cinema roundabout area

Popular termini such as Odeon, Kencom, GPO, Commercial, OTC and Ambassador were unusually deserted.

As of 4.am, traffic marshals were deployed to block all matatus from accessing previous bus termini within the city.

Matatus plying Jogoo Road route were forced to drop passengers at Muthurwa terminus, while those formally accessing the CBD from Thika, Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande Road, Limuru Road, Ruiru and Kiambu Road ended their journeys at Ngara.

In a notice published in the local dailies on Thursday, City Hall announced that 11 termini had been designated for matatus to pick and drop off passengers.

“The operators are required to take note that the above changes take effect as from December 3, 2018 and all previous gazette notices/letter allocating any other place as picking and dropping areas within CBD are hereby revoked and become null and void as from December 3, 2018,” reads the notice signed by acting County Secretary Pauline Kahiga.

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Story By Wycliffe Nyamasege
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