Matatus Challenge NMS Boss Badi Over Nairobi CBD Plan

Matatu Bus Stop Sign at GPO Stage, Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019
Matatu Bus Stop Sign at GPO Stage, Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019

The Matatu Owners Association (MOA) on Thursday, October 30, faulted the Nairobi Metropolitan Services boss Mohammed Badi in the plan of decongesting the city without involving them.

MOA chairperson Simon Kimutai stated that they would only support Badi if their conditions were met.

"He cannot just wake up one morning and make an abrupt decision that public transport will not be allowed in the city without consultations. That is not acceptable," Kimutai stated.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) boss General Mohamed Badi flags off the Ngong River clean up exercise on Friday, October 9, 2020

Kimutai argued that Matatu officials would help with the city decongesting ideas if the NMS boss consulted them.

"It hurts so many people when decisions are made without the parties involved being consulted. We are ready to cooperate in decongesting the city in a manner that is acceptable by us but not when we are forced to do so," he added.

At the same time, the Matatu and Bodaboda Operators Federation Kushian Muchiri threatened to carry passengers to full capacity if the government did not relax Covid-19 restrictions in seven days.

"The government has until next week Tuesday to relax Covid-19 restrictions just like it has done with other industries. Failure to which, matatus will also carry 100 per cent full capacity," Muchiri stated.

"We are already making losses. Where should we get money to provide for sanitizers? Our businesses have dropped by over 60 per cent and the government will likely not get taxes if the situation is not salvaged," added Kimutai.

On September 8,  Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohamed Badi announced that starting November 2020, matatus would no longer be allowed to access the Central Business District (CBD) in a bid to decongest the city.

Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security Badi revealed that the plans were being finalised and will be launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in November.

Matatus plying Thika Road to offload passengers in new bus stations at Ngara and Parklands, while those from Machakos and Lang'ata road will terminate their journeys at a yet to be built stage at the Railway Club.

Matatus pictured at a terminus.
Matatus pictured at a terminus.