Lobby asks Sonko to sus­pend matatu ban

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SUNDAY REVIEW - BY LIL­LIAN MUTAVI Lmu­tavi@ke.na­tion­media.com

Traf­fic jams in Nairobi Cen­tral Busi­ness Dis­trict will be a thing of the past start­ing Wed­nes­day should the county govern­ment ef­fect a ban on public ser­vice ve­hi­cles.

This is another at­tempt by the county to rid the city of the mata­tus that have been blamed for traf­fic con­ges­tion as they block ma­jor streets and link roads in the CBD.

But even be­fore the di­rec­tive took ef­fect, a con­sumer lobby has called on Gover­nor Mike Sonko to halt the plans un­til the de­volved govern­ment de­vel­ops re­li­able, de­cent and af­ford­able trans­port to move com­muters across the CBD, rail­way sta­tions and the var­i­ous ter­mini.

More than 30,000 ve­hi­cles will not ac­cess the Cen­tral Busi­ness Dis­trict if the ban is ef­fected.

Through a gazette no­tice No.4479 of May 12, 2017, City Hall had no­ti­fied the PSV op­er­a­tors and the public that changes would be made on the om­nibus ter­mini and routes.

Speak­ing to Sun­day Na­tion, the Chief Of­fi­cer, Roads and Trans­port­ing Fredrik Karanja, said that the no­tice was to en­force a gazette no­tice af­ter the grace pe­riod they gave PSV elapsed.

“We have all re­alised we can not keep liv­ing like this, some­thing must be done to de­con­gest this city by mov­ing these ve­hi­cles to the public ter­mini,” said Mr Karanja. He said they have mod­i­fied and re­ha­bil­i­tated the rel­e­vant ter­mini. The ter­mini will not be park­ing bays for the ve­hi­cles but drop off and pick­ing points with a max­i­mum of 40 min­utes al­lowed.

The Con­sumer Fed­er­a­tion of Kenya (Cofek) sec­re­tary-gen­eral Stephen Mu­toro has said the ban was not only in­suf­fi­cient but un­sus­tain­able con­sid­er­ing that pre­vi­ous at­tempts failed.

“Nairobi needs a fully in­te­grated traf­fic man­age­ment plan with cor­re­spond­ing in­vest­ment,” Mr Mu­toro ar­gued.

He de­scribed the ban as dis­crim­i­na­tory against com­muters us­ing PSVS, ar­gu­ing that it will be eas­ily chal­lenged legally on the strength of Ar­ti­cle 27(4) of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

He asked the gover­nor to put off the plan for at least three months and seek al­ter­na­tive modes of trans­port, in­clud­ing putting in place at­ten­dant in­fra­struc­ture.

“Put proper and cor­rup­tion­free en­force­ment mech­a­nisms, both hu­man and tech­no­log­i­cal.

Put in place suf­fi­cient park­ing lots and ad­e­quate sheds to pro­tect Kenyans from ad­verse weather at the pro­posed new ter­mini for PSVS,” ad­vised Mr Mu­toro.

Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Joseph Wangui

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