Order has to be restored in Nairobi, affirms Governor Sonko

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko appearing before the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko appearing before the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has reiterated that order has to be restored in Nairobi, in the wake of the directive to ban matatus from accessing the Nairobi CBD. Speaking when he appeared before the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee on Monday for questioning, the Nairobi Governor said the County government is being supported in a major way by the national government and recent lobbying efforts ensured they received Kshs 5 billion. He said Nairobi is currently enjoying a respectable status as a city in business rankings, insinuating that the city should be streamlined as a result, “If we accept this matatu madness, hawking, allowing boda bodas into the CBD, we aren’t helping each other,” he stated.

Commuters were forced to walk for long distances to access the CBD and their offices given that the traditional bus termini have been shifted following the directive. However, the Nairobi Governor said he understands the pain residents are experiencing but they should be patient, “This is the right time. I know people are suffering, am just requesting for patience from commuters, we are going to work on an amicable and permanent solution to address this issue,” he said. In a light moment, he said some commuters shouldn’t complain too much, citing that from Muthurwa market to the Nairobi city centre is a minute walk, “So many people don’t go to the gym, it’s part of the exercise,” he said.

Sonko added that plans are underway to ensure the physically challenged get transport from their stages to the CBD, and NYS buses will be used. He said benchmarking has been done in Kigali, Dubai, New York and the pointers they’ve picked up from those forays must now be implemented in the city, “Why are we wasting taxpayers money if we are not implementing all these issues we are going to learn there?” he posed. The Governor is set to appear before the Senate Transport Committee on Wednesday. The ban has drawn opposition from leaders and commuters, with Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and matatu saccos seeking orders from the court to halt the ban, the case will be heard on Thursday after the parties have served the petitions to the respondents.