The Association of Matatu Operators has aired its grievances to Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in a meeting that brought together the two parties to address how to decongest Nairobi. The operators said decisions have been made to decongest the city, and this comes even as Governor Sonko bowed to pressure and lifted the ban on matatus accessing the CBD after public outcry. Speaking to the press, Association of Matatu Operators chairman Jimal Ibrahim faulted traffic police officers stationed in the CBD, saying the officers sabotage them. He said the traffic officers close many roads around the afternoon hours in order to milk the matatu operators, and a large amount of money has been lost in corruption so far, “We are losing more than Kshs 24 million a day to traffic police officers,” he said.
He said they’ve told Governor Sonko about the issue and have urged Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to remove the officers from the CBD. He said they station themselves around spots in the CBD as early as 6:00 am in order to collect the money, and they threaten those who may not comply they’ll be taken to court. “It’s better if the County government controls the CBD, and the officers control the roundabouts in order for them not to sabotage us,” he stated.
In the meeting, the matatu operators agreed they’ll form a committee to decongest the city, in a process set on a timeline of three months. He added that they agreed only three vehicles per sacco will be allowed into the CBD and that they’ve agreed to talk to private stakeholders to find a place for the vehicles, “The issue is to decongest Nairobi,” he insisted. He admitted that the PSVs will eventually leave Nairobi, “10 years ago we were only 6 saccos, right now we are 256 saccos in CBD…the Governor has just been lenient to us so far and allowed us to hang around for one year in the CBD.”