, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – Over 100 taxis which have not yet been claimed after they were seized during a strike by earlier this week have now been moved to the Nairobi County Government’s impound yard in Dagoretti.
According to City Hall’s Head of Parking Tom Tinega, the owners should first collect their held number plates from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles before facing charges at the City Court for obstruction and causing disturbances.
“No one has come to claim these vehicles and we are now moving them to our impound yard at Dagoretti. We will not spare them since what they did was unacceptable. Once they get their number plates from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, they will have to go to court to be held accountable for their actions,” he said.
Nairobi Traffic Commandant Edward Mwamburi described the action by the operators as criminal and pointed out that so far, 24 people have been charged over the incident.
“You do not go out of your way and decide to engage in hooliganism because of your concerns. That is very selfish and you should know that there are other avenues of addressing your grievances,” he stated.
“The vehicles which were impounded were the taxis around City Hall which were blocking the road. At least other PSVs owners were clever enough and moved around so we never caught them.”
The County Executive in charge of Roads, Public works and Transport Evans Ondieki also stressed the need for the observance of laid down regulations instead of resorting to underhanded tactics.
“We as a county government will not relent. The rates apply to every other motorist so why should they be the odd ones out. They should follow the law and if they have any grievance, they need to follow the right channels,” he stressed.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero vowed that the County Government will not be blackmailed to revise the charges merely because operators are protesting.
In the meantime, a union representing Public Service Vehicles is set to collect one million signatures in a bid to remove Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero from office.
The Nairobi Metropolitan PSV Saccos union chairman Henry Muindi described the Governor as arrogant and stated that they will be converging as taxi and matatu operators before embarking on the exercise.
“The way the Governor has handled this situation just shows that he is not interested in resolving our problem. We tried talking to him but he did not listen to us. We will now go about collecting one million signatures so that we can remove him from office. This is not what we elected him to do,” he stated.
The government had said that it will withdraw the operating licenses for Saccos whose matatus blocked roads while protesting the increased parking fees.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau had said that every vehicle involved in the mass action will have their registration numbers withdrawn.
Kamau explained that the operators seriously inconvenienced other Kenyans who had nothing to do with the strike from going about their normal business.