NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has assured that the matatu ban into the Central Business District is not intended to punish residents but to restore order in the city’s public transport sector.
Sonko, who was speaking during a session with the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee Chaired by Senator Moses Kajwang’ (Homabay), stated that the initiative is for the long-term good of the county.
“Over the months we have been going to Kigali, Dubai, New York to benchmark. Why are we wasting taxpayers’ money if we are not implementing all these issues we are going to learn there? I know people are suffering and I request for patience from commuters. We are going to work on an amicable permanent solution to address this issue,” he assured.
The Nairobi Governor urged patience as the process of regaining the glory of Nairobi continues.
“Mr Chair even if you go to the restaurant today and you want an omelette, before it is prepared, an egg has to be broken. Our people are now suffering, but we are very considerate of this fact.”
He restated that good things do not come easy.
“Before anything good happens, it is painful, and I understand that people are suffering walking from Ngara to town or Muthurwa to town. We have invested a lot on transport. We are very considerate leaders and our intention is not to punish Kenyans.”
He added that he has already spoken to President Uhuru Kenyatta and plans are ongoing to make buses available that will help physically challenged commuters from one terminus to another.
On the issue of public participation, Sonko said he consulted all the stakeholders during his first few months in office contrary to what Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said.
Sonko further faulted Sakaja of seizing the moment for his political interests.
On Monday afternoon, Sakaja sued the Nairobi County Government over the matatu ban accusing the Executive of acting unreasonably since no alternative means have been provided to the public.
“The notice affecting the matatu ban did not put into consideration all the needs and challenges of the public transport,” he argued.
Earlier in the day, 21 matatu SACCOs also went to court to challenge the ban arguing that the decision is inconsiderate as no study or effort was done to ascertain whether the designated points can accommodate the number of matatus.
The ban which took effect Monday morning left many commuters with no option but to walk to their various work places.