Kidero threatens to ban Rongai matatus from city

A man hangs off an Ongata Rongai matatu. FILE PHOTO | EVANS HABIL
A man hangs off an Ongata Rongai matatu. The route's PSVs have been threatened with a ban from the central business district over lawlessness. FILE PHOTO | EVANS HABIL 

Nairobi County governor Dr Evans Kidero has threatened to ban Rongai matatus from the central business district (CBD) citing unruly behaviour, lawlessness and impunity on the roads.

This comes after a matatu ferrying passengers from Rongai was involved in an accident that killed four people and injured over 20 two months ago .

Speaking in Rongai where he met the matatu owners on Wednesday, Dr Kidero said that the route is said to have a number of saccos that wreak havoc on city roads and yet go scot free.

"Rongai matatu are the most undisciplined vehicles in the country. They are driven with impunity...they don't respect the traffic rules, "said Dr Kidero.

The governor said their behaviour has made him contemplate banning them from the city, saying that they would be terminating in Bangladesh just before Multimedia University where other vehicles would take passengers to town.

Dr Kidero added that the matatus are also non-compliant with paying seasonal parking which serves as revenue to the county, saying each of the route's eight saccos are supposed to submit Sh5,250 per vehicle.

"You are making over Sh228 million a month running a very serious business in this town yet you are the most uncompliant people in paying rates with less than 15 per cent of you paying for seasonal parking," he said.

New termini

Deputy governor Jonathan Mueke said that the county is working on new termini for all PSVs to keep them off the CBD, saying that vehicles from Mombasa road will terminate at Railways.

"We are working to ensure that we don't all terminate in town but we can move from Rongai to Dandora and only drop and pick up in town for less than three minutes, "said Mr Mueke.

The Rongai Matatu Association chairman Peter Mwangi raised concerns over the harassment PSV crews by the city inspectorate and lack of a bus terminus in town.

He added that they have been holding talks with their drivers and conductors to institute a culture change.