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Matatu operators sue Sonko for plan to kick them out of Nairobi CBD

The Matatu Welfare Association has stepped up its bid in stopping the Nairobi County government from implementing its decision to transfer Public Service Vehicles termini outside the city’s Central Business District.

In a suit filed at the High Court on Thursday, the association indicated that it wants the status quo to remain on grounds that the new PSV termini require renovation.

“The termini the Nairobi County government intends to relocate PSVs to are totally inhabitable and impractical to utilize given their current state and as such it is paramount that the sued party holds the relocation until all stakeholders have taken part or the new areas are renovated to fit the purpose,” said lawyer Joseph Angwenyi for the association.

The association through its chair Dickson Mbugua, argued that the new termini are too small and squeezed to accommodate half of matatus in one Sacco.

UNUSABLE TERMINI

In case documents, Mr Mbugua claimed that the new termini have large potholes that render them unusable, some are used as market places and are all far away from the CBD.

He argued that there is no sufficient alternative means of ferrying members of the public from the new termini to CBD.

Last year, the Nairobi County government issued a circular implementing a gazette notice which indicated that all matatus carrying less than 60 passengers would be barred from entering the CBD.

The county government claimed that the move was intended to have matatus drop and pick passengers at designated termini outside the City Centre so as to ease traffic.

In the notice, all matatus accessing the CBD from Waiyaki Way or Uhuru Highway, Kipande Road and Limuru Road are to terminate at Muranga Road or Fig Tree terminus A.

Those coming from Thika Road as well as Kiambu Road including Ruiru are to drop off passengers at Muranga Road (Fig Tree) terminus B.

Vehicles using Juja Road, Ring Road and Park Road are to drop off passengers at the Ngara Road terminus, while vehicles from Jogoo Road and Lusaka Road will terminate their journeys at Muthurwa Market.

As for Matatus plying Mombasa and Langata roads, they are to drop off passengers at Hakati terminus, while the Railways terminus will be left for PSVs from Ngong Road.

RELOCATED

The notice also indicated that all high capacity vehicles from upcountry will be relocated to Machakos terminus, while diametric routes will operate from the central bus station.

On April 23, Governor Mike Sonko’s administration warned that it will not issue any other notification to PSV operators with regards to the relocation of new termini.

It is this warning that prompted the association to protest against that directive two days later.

The court did not issue any temporary order which is why the association filed another application on Thursday requesting for the same.

The matter was certified urgent and the county government asked to respond to the case in seven days for a hearing on May 10.