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Walking nation: Court declines to suspend matatu CBD ban

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Justice Pauline Nyamweya. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NMG

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Summary

  • Justice Pauline Nyamweya declines to suspend directive that matatus refrain from dropping and picking passengers in the city centre.
  • She says the ban in question had been published in the Kenya Gazette in November 2017.
  • The judge stated under the rules, a Kenya Gazette notice pronouncing a particular issue is supposed to be challenged within six months.

Thousands of commuters in Nairobi are likely to continue walking to the city centre from the designated bus stations outside the central business district for the next four days.

This is until the High Court determines the case challenging the ban on public service vehicles' (matatus) access to the CBD, filed against Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

On Monday, Justice Pauline Nyamweya declined to suspend the directive that matatus refrain from dropping and picking passengers in the city centre.

Declining to grant a temporary reprieve in the case filed by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and over 20 matatu saccos and companies, Justice Nyamweya said the ban in question had been published in the Kenya Gazette in November 2017.

“It well over six months and you are now filing a case to challenge the ban that matatus should drop passengers outside the CBD,” Justice Nyamweya ruled.

She however directed lawyers Duncan Okatchi , Duncan Akulia and Jackson Ikua to serve the court papers on the Nairobi County Government, NTSA and National Police Service (NPS) to respond to the issues.

She directed the case be heard December 6, 2018.

The judge stated under the rules, a Kenya Gazette notice pronouncing a particular issue is supposed to be challenged within six months.

“Serve the respondents and return for hearing on December 6, 2018,” ruled Judge Nyamweya.

Public hearings

Through the chairman of Expresso Company Limited and 30 other matatu saccos and companies, the petitioners told the judge the no public hearings were conducted to receive views on the matter.

Mr Okatchi said the constitutional rights of the citizens have been violated and asked the judge to quash the move.

They argue that the decision was made without taking into consideration that the operators have valid transport licences that allow them to operate in the central business district.

The county has issued picking and dropping permits to the matatu operators, they said.