City Hall has reiterated that the directive to have only two public service vehicles per sacco allowed in the city centre will continue despite the order being largely flouted by matatu operators.
Nairobi County Director of Operations Peter Mbaya has vowed to make the directive a success saying that they have already impounded at least 30 non-compliant vehicles in the crackdown across several stages in the Central Business District (CBD) since Monday last week.
“It has not flopped. It is only that we are having some saccos which are not keen to obey the order, but we are still enforcing the directive and we are arresting the matatus everyday. By Friday, we had already impounded 30 such matatus,” said Mr Mbaya on Sunday.
Mr Mbaya cited matatus at Ronal Ngala for being the most non-compliant mentioning 145 matatus and Kenya Mpya Sacco as the ones which have blatantly disregarded the directive.
He however lauded matatus registered with Ummoinner Sacco for their compliance.
“We are optimistic that the Saccos will eventually obey our orders as most of their chairmen are supportive of the directive and working hard to see their staff obey the order,” he said.
The director stated that impounded matatus taken to City Hall yard will have to pay fines ranging between Sh15, 000 and Sh30, 000.
“When they are taken to our yard one pays Sh15, 000. For overnight stay the following day one has to pay Sh25, 000 before 12pm but thereafter the fine shoots to Sh30, 000,” said the director.
However, this latest order has been met with swift resistance from Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) who criticized the move, saying the county government should have done more assessment on ways to control traffic before settling on reduction of the number of matatus within the CBD.
The association said that they were not involved in coming up with the decision and time was not taken to look at the effects the directive will have on the economy of the country, stating that the move will adversely affect their businesses.
“It is very important that the county government realizes that without us even getting revenue will be impossible and the best thing is to partner with us,” said MWA chairman Simon Kimutai.
This not the first time that City Hall is attempting to effect similar orders in the city centre.
In late May, the county started a similar plan which was to affect over 30,000 vehicles aimed at decongesting the city and also ending the perennial traffic snarl-up in the city centre.
The matatu saccos were to look for their own holding spaces as the county provision is to provide picking and dropping spots. This order took effect for a few days before the status quo was reverted to.
In September last year, City Hall made an announcement that it would not allow PSVs into Nairobi’s Central Business District so as to decongest the city but this directive quickly flopped.