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Owners of seized taxis to be charged

Owners of taxis seized during last week’s strike have been asked to pick the vehicles’ number plates and present themselves to police.

According to Nairobi Traffic Commandant Edward Mwamburi, 111 taxis remain unclaimed after they were impounded for blocking City Hall Way.

“More than 20 drivers and conductors were arrested and charged,” said Mr Mwamburi.

The unclaimed cars have since been towed to the county government yard in Dagoretti.

Mr Mwamburi said the Wednesday strike was unfortunate as  the demonstrating  matatu, taxi and bus drivers  and conductors also became unruly and stole or destroyed other people’s property.

Caught unawares

“So far 24 people have been charged at City court and we will be charging others soon. Some of the acts they were involved in were criminal and we hope the sentences or fines imposed on them will serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.

He  said  what the  PSV crews did was unacceptable.

“There are legal ways of solving any problem. Resorting to violent demonstrations is not one of them,” he added.

Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru ordered police officers to remove number plates of all the taxis seized for obstructing roads in and outside the City centre.

He said roads were public and the law did not allow anyone to stop others from using them.

The Inspector General of Police and the Nairobi county government have also vowed to take action against matatu, bus and taxi crews involved in the strike.

Last Wednesday’s strike caught many unawares and thousands of commuters were forced to trek to their places of work.

It was unprecedented since the drivers, conductors and touts blocked roads and stopped private vehicles, bodabodas and tuktuks from carrying passengers, a situation that led to running battles with police.

The PSV operators were protesting increased parking fee by the county government, terming it inconsiderate. Authorities raised the fee by up to 200 per cent.

By afternoon of the same day, most matatus were back on the road though no agreement had been reached with county officials.

Governor Evans Kidero said the county government would start collecting the new fees immediately.