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Court declines to suspend order barring matatus into CBD



Thousands of commuters in Nairobi will continue to walk into the Central Business District (CBD) after the High Court declined to suspend an order barring Matatus from accessing Nairobi City Centre.

Justice Pauline Nyamweya on Monday declined to suspend the directive that matatus refrain from dropping and picking passengers in the city centre.

Justice Nyamweya said the ban in question had been published in the Kenya Gazette in November 2017.

“It well over six months and you are now filing a case to challenge the ban that matatus should drop passengers outside the CBD,” Justice Nyamweya ruled.

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She however directed the parties, Duncan Okatchi, Duncan Akulia and Jackson Ikua, to file and serve the court papers on the Nairobi County Government, NTSA and National Police Service (NPS) to respond to the issues.

The parties argue that the decision was made without considering that operators have valid transport licenses that allow them to operate in the Central Business District.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja on the other hand wants the suspension of the order be based on lack of public participation.

He also accuses Governor Mike Sonko of enforcing the ban without providing convenient alternatives, thereby leaving commuters stranded.

Sakaja has termed the decision as premature and unfair to ordinary citizens.

Police officers and traffic marshals were deployed at dawn across the city to enforce the directive.

Matatus that have been accessing the city centre through Thika Road, Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande Road, Limuru Road, Ruiru and Kiambu Road are required to pick and drop passengers at Fig Tree in Ngara.

PSVs from Jogoo Road will stop at Muthurwa while those from Ngong Road will park at Railways Terminus.

Matatus from Mombasa Road and Lang’ata Road will pick and drop off passengers at Hakati Terminus.

Upcountry vehicles accessing Nairobi via Waiyaki Way will drop off passengers at Park Road Terminus together with those that go past Kenol on Nyeri/Meru-Nairobi Road.

City Hall through a notice said 11 termini had been designated for all matatus in Nairobi to pick and drop off passengers.

The case which was will be heard Thursday this week.

Elsewhere, Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai says Matatu operators may be forced to take what he termed as drastic measures if the county goverment of Nairobi fails to rescind its ban on Matatus to the CBD.

According to Kimutai the county government rushed in making the decision without consulting stakeholders.

While calling on the county government to organize for a talk with the operators, Kimutai was categorical that a ban on five percent of vehicles in the city will not address congestion in the city