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Sonko, Nairobi MCAs tussle over control of matatu stages in CBD

The battle for control of matatu stages in Nairobi City Centre has escalated with Governor Mike Sonko’s administration now accusing MCAs of interference.

This has seen both the Executive and the assembly trade blames over the allocation of pick up and drop off points as well as route extensions to matatu saccos operating in Nairobi.

MATATU SACCOS

Last month, the county government stopped issuance of new licences to matatu saccos after it emerged there are more than 400 unregistered matatu Saccos operating illegally in Nairobi.

According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), only 272 registered matatu saccos operating in the capital are registered with them against records by City Hall indicating that there are 692 registered matatu saccos in Nairobi.

However, members of Nairobi Assembly Transport committee blamed the disconnect between Transport and Parking sub-sectors for the proliferation of unregistered matatu saccos operating and have been allocated pick up and drop off points in the Central Business District.

They blamed Director of Parking Services Tom Tinega of getting involved with the issuance of pick-up and drop-off points, route extensions and loading zones; functions that should be handled by the Transport sector.

However, the Executive has now hit back blaming the Assembly of meddling in its functions, accusing acting Clerk Monicah Muthami interfering with the operations at the Executive.

Ms Muthami is accused of appointing an officer from the Executive to be in charge of issuance of pick up and drop off point as well as route extension letters contrary to Section 9(2) of the County Government Act that states that a member of the county assembly shall not be directly or indirectly involved in the executive functions of the county government and its administration.

ROUTE EXTENSION

The acting Clerk is alleged to have, on February 3, 2020, written a letter to the Director General of NTSA informing the agency of a resolution by the Nairobi County Assembly Transport committee designating Director of Public Works and Transport Engineer Jeremy Kimathi as the officer in charge of writing, signing and issuing pick and drop points and approval of route extensions on behalf of the county Executive.

“The purpose of this letter is therefore to notify your office of the resolution and request you to recognize only letters written and signed by the designated officer as above,” read in part the letter signed by Ms Muthami.

It is said as a consequence of the letter, Engineer Kimathi, on February 7, 2020, approved route extension to Expreso Limited to cover Kiserian-Rongai-KNH-Kenyatta Avenue-Ambassador-Moi Service Lane-Railways-Kabiria-Dagoretti Market and Karen after a request by the Sacco on January 13, 2020.

“There is no objection to your request to operate the requested routes as per your route service license. The picking and dropping points are designated for the route and all operators on that route are expected to operate from the designated picking points only and for that route only,” read the letter.

“You are further reminded that only the vehicles picking and dropping passengers will be allowed into the terminus and the company or Sacco will be required to look for their own holding ground,” added the letter.

On the same day, the director also approved route extension request by Latema Travellers Bus and Safaris Company Limited.

The Sacco was approved to operate Kangeni-James Gichuru-Lavington-Kawangware-Kabiria-Ngong Road-Kenyatta Avenue-Odeon route.