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No turning back on ban – Sonko

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Nairobi residents should brace themselves for tough times this festive season.

Governor Mike Sonko yesterday maintained he will not abandon his resolve to bring order to the chaotic matatu sector.

“We must restore order in the county’s transport system. We’re working on an amicable solution to the transport mess. I know Nairobians are suffering but walking is also healthy,” he told the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee.

He was summoned over queries raised by Auditor General Edward Ouko over the county’s 2014-15 expenditure.

Sonko urged residents to support the cause.

He said his administration and the national government will provide a public transport system to ease movement of people living with disability from the designated out-of-town termini to the CBD.

“We are already engaging the national government. We are looking for NYS buses to help transport people with disability. From Muthurwa to the CBD is a one-minute walk. Many people don’t go to the gym. We want them to be fit,” the county chief said.

Read: Matatu owners accuse Sonko of ‘peddling lies’, deny being consulted on CBD ban

See also: [VIDEO] Commuters stranded as CBD matatu ban takes effect

City Hall in a bold move to reduce congestion in the CBD proposed 10 drop-off points outside the city centre.

They include Muthurwa, Murang’a Road Fig Tree A, Desai Road, Ngara Road, Hakati, Railways and Central Bus Station.

The ban took effect yesterday. Hundreds of residents walked to the CBD.

Nairobi Senator Johnston Sakaja challenged the ban in court, saying City Hall ignored public participation.

Sonko dismissed Sakaja’s suggestion, accusing him of playing 2022 politics. “I expected Sakaja to be part of the solution, being someone we campaigned together with. We have been holding public meetings since I assumed office,” he said.

Sakaja defended himself and faulted Sonko for failing to ensure security of commuters before implementing the radical decision.

“I’ve gone to court because the actions of the county government are disadvantaging many Kenyans. Before you ban matatus, provide an alternative. What happens to children? What happens to the persons with disabilities? What happens to the elderly?” he asked.

Nominated Senator Beatrice Omanga took the governor to task to explain when public participation was conducted.

Today, Sonko is to appear before the Senate Committee on Roads and Transport chaired by Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi.

Read: Defiant matatus: The unsuccessful attempts to decongest Nairobi

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