Governor Sonko suspends ban of matatus in the CBD

Commuters at the Railways Landmawe bridge PHOTO COURTESY

Nairobi, KENYA: Nairobi city residents will not have to walk longer distances anymore to get into the CBD.

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has suspended the implementation of the gazette notice banning matatus from entering the CBD.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, Governor Sonko said the ban was suspended following the plight of Nairobians who were forced to walk long distances to reach their destinations.

The ban which was put into effect on Monday saw city residents accessing the CBD through Thika road walk from Fig tree in Ngara, those accessing through Jogoo road walk from Muthurwa while those using Ngong road had to walk all the way from Railways stage.

“I have noted with deep concern the plight of Nairobi residents as a result of the ban, and hereby announce that the full implementation of this directive has been suspended with immediate effect,” said Governor Sonko in the press statement.

“This is to facilitate further consultation with all affected parties, in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of vehicular congestion,” he added.

The ban had faced opposition from several Nairobi County leaders including Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who had moved to court to stop it.

Matatu owners were also against the ban saying the governor took the step without involving all necessary stakeholders.

According to Governor Sonko, the ban is meant to decongest the city.

“Although the directive is well intentioned, many innocent commuters, including senior citizens and those with health challenges requiring emergency medical attention, expectant mothers and children traveling with their parents, all suffered untold inconvenience, and this is regrettable,” read the statement.

“It also became clear that it is necessary to have contingent measures before enforcement of such key decisions,” it added.