NMS, Matatu Owners Face-Off Over CBD Ban

  • File images of matatus at a bus terminus in Nairobi
    File images of matatus at a bus terminus in Nairobi
    Citizen Digital
  • Matatu owners and the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) have been locked in a fresh battle as the ban on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) from the Central Business District (CBD) is set to take effect. 

    The matatu owners have vowed not to adhere to the CBD ban throwing confusion into the plan by NMS who revised the deadline to mid-January.

    According to the matatu owners, NMS Director General Major General Mohammed Badi has ulterior motives in banning matatus from the CBD.

    Nairobi Metropolitan Services boss Mohamed Badi addresses President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 30, 2020, at Harambee House Nairobi while releasing a report of his first 100 days in office

    National Matatu Owners Association chairman John Muthonga noted that they would defy the ban on matatus from the CBD.

    "We will not be moved out of this city. We have enough rights like other Kenyans. We want the exercise done in an inclusive manner where our views will be well represented," he said.

    Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai encouraged consultation between them and the NMS before effecting the ban.

    "We support any attempt that will make this city a better place. But we must share our views as well," insisted Kimutai.

    NMS Transport, Roads and Public Works director Michael Ochieng, however, vowed that the service will not relent on the matatu ban.

    "We are in consultation with stakeholders to see if we can have a phased opening and commissioning of the termini to avoid the situation turning chaotic.

    "We are in talks with real stakeholders, the ones complaining are people who don't even own vehicles. All serious investors are fully behind our plan," stated Ochieng.

    Ochieng added that the exact date of the matatu ban would be communicated in due time by Badi after the initial directive that was set on Monday, December 14 failed to take off.

    NMS also plans to revamp and rehabilitate traffic signals to improve traffic management and further decongest the CBD.

    File image of matatus on the streets of Nairobi
    File image of matatus on the streets of Nairobi