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Transport crisis in the city as matatus strike

Nairobians walked to work on Wednesday morning after matatu operators blocked major roads to protest increased parking fees.

The matatu operators blocked traffic on Thika superhighway by abandoning vehicles near the Pangani footbridge. 

A similar scene was replicated at Donholm roundabout on Jogoo road.

Some matatus that had ignoted the strike were attacked and passengers robbed on Enterprise road. The striking matatu operators also threatened burn  a vehicle in South C.

Traffic on Ngong road, Langata road and Mombasa road was however not affected by the morning strike .

Matatu operators along Langata road are said to have hiked fare and were charging passengers Sh150.

Nairobi traffic Commandant Edward Mwamburi told journalists that traffic police oficers were looking for breakdowns to tow away vehicles that were blocking the roads.

Owners of the vehicles will be charged with obstruction

Under the new parking fee regime, 14-seater matatus are to pay Sh5,000, 41-seater matatus to pay Sh8,000, while 41 seater matatus are to pay Sh7,250

Parking fees for taxi operators from Sh2,000 to Sh6,000 per month per vehicle.

Matatu operators in Nairobi had warned of  the strike on grounds that Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero had betrayed a negotiated deal that will have reduced the parking fees.

One of the matatu saccos, the Nairobi Metropolitan Union (NMU), claimed the county government had agreed to tentatively lower parking fees from this month.

In the said deal, the sacco claimed 14-seater matatu owners were to pay Sh3,650 down from Sh5,000, while 41-seater matatus would part with Sh5,500 down from Sh8,000. Matatus with a capacity of 41 passengers were to pay Sh7,250.