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Sonko about turn: Matatu operators form committee to decongest CBD

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The Association of Matatu Operators has formed a joint committee to ensure Nairobi CBD is decongested, chairperson Jimal Ibrahim has said.

Ibrahim, who did not divulge much information about the committee, said the team will come up with ideas that can help the city to be decongested

He spoke hours after Nairobi governor Mike Sonko suspended the ban on matatus from entering the CBD with immediate effect.

Sonko said this will give room for more consultation with the affected parties in order to find a permanent solution.

Read: Sonko bows to pressure, suspends Matatu CBD ban

“As chairman I tell you, one day, we must leave this town. That is why we must have a good plan for the CBD. The way things are going, we will even have a matatu stage outside City Hall,” Ibrahim said.

Speaking when he addressed the media on Tuesday, Ibrahim said matatus operators had taken Sonko’s directive as a joke, but said they changed their minds after seeing how serious he was.

“We were taking it as a joke. You will see a big change from today. We shall organise ourselves with the little time we have,” he said.

Ibrahim asked IG Joseph Boinnet to remove corrupt traffic police officers who demand bribes from matatus in the Central Business District.

The National Police Service Commission has backed the proposal to scrap the traffic department due to rampant corruption involving officers.

Read: Kavuludi backs proposal to scrap traffic police department

“Traffic police officers sabotage us. They keep stopping us in the CBD and milking us. We are asking the government to end corruption by the police in the CBD,” Ibrahim said.

“Boinnet should ensure that the officers in the CBD leave and only allow the county askaris to control traffic.”

On Monday, thousands of commuters walked for long distances to their workplaces after the county government effected the gazette notice banning matatus from the CBD.

Some walked for as long as five kilometres.

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

The ban led to huge traffic jams as PSVs scrambled for the limited space in the designated termini. As early as 5am, security officers had been deployed to strategic spots to block matatus from accessing the city centre.

Read: Long walk, chaos, traffic jams as matatu ban takes effect

Also read: Court declines to suspend order of ban on matatus in CBD

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