- Citizen Digital
UPDATE Tuesday, October 27: The Association of Matatu Operators called off a strike that was planned to kick off on Tuesday.
The Association's chairperson Jimal Ibrahim, in a letter, explained that the the team had signed an agreement with relevant authorities.
"It is hereby notified upon all and sundry that the nationwide Public Service Vehicle strike scheduled for 27th day of November 2020 seeking to compel the relevant authorities to increase the passenger capacity of PSV has been called off following fruitful engagement earlier today with relevant authority," read the statement in part.
Commuters may be forced to walk for long distances if Matatu Operators Association proceeds with their planned nationwide strike beginning Tuesday, October 27.
Speaking in Nairobi on Sunday, October 25, the association's chairperson noted that all matatus across the country would go on strike over stringent Covid-19 measures.
He noted that the operators had resorted to strike in an effort to compel the state to address their capacity issues.
"On Tuesday, across the country, all matatus must go on strike. I would like to tell our leaders, Hon Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta, they have neglected our matatu industry.Chairman of the Matatu Operators in Nairobi's CBD, Jamal Ibrahim addressing the media.Citizen Digital
"When they visit places, they always talk about boda boda, they talk about bars and churches but they have forgotten the Matatu Industry. The reason we are striking on Tuesday is because of capacity. Since Covid-19 hit eight months ago, they have not addressed the matatu industry urging for the resumption of full capacity," he stated.
He further noted that several sectors including schools, churches and air transport had resumed normalcy but the needs of the Matatu industry were yet to be met.
"Earlier, all local flights resumed normal seat capacity, churches have resumed operation, political rallies are back to normal as well as schools. So why have we been forgotten?" he added.
Ibrahim also lamented that some of the players in the sector were facing financial hardship having defaulted on loans.
"We have written enough letters and where we have reached, we are forced to issue a strike notice," he continued.
Matatus had been directed to carry a quarter of their capacity in an effort to implement the one-meter social distancing rule as advised by the Ministry of Health.
The public service operators were expected to clean and disinfect their vehicles at the end of each trip.
This comes even as positive Covid-19 cases spike with caseload nearing the 50,000 mark.
On Sunday alone, the country recorded 931 cases and six deaths.
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