NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 8 – Long-distance public service shuttles operating upcountry routes to Nairobi are reporting losses following the coming into effect of a 21-day cessation of movement order.
The directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday forbidding movements into and out of Nairobi forced shuttle service providers to halt operations.
A spot-check by Capital FM News on Tuesday reveled sever-bustling bus termini were deserted, with operators only running parcel services.
Moses Mureithi, a driver with Mololine Shuttle which plies the Nairobi-Eldoret-Kericho-Kisumu route said the ban was so sudden and had completely scuttled their operations with most drivers stuck in Nairobi with no place to stay.
“We have been stuck here in Nairobi, we are not faulting the Government for this directive, because the disease is fast spreading. However , the Government should provide for those living below the standards, so that they can fend for themselves,” he said.
Tapman Syocha of Blueline Safaris said the lock down worsened the operation which had already been scuttled with curfew directives.
“The business was so down already and the lock down was so sudden and has led to a lot of confusion, we have shut down, our passengers have suffered and there is nothing we can do but to wait for the elapse of the 21 days,” Syocha said.
The two said since the outbreak of coronavirus, their companies have lost millions as a result of a drastic reduction of the number of travelers.
The two, nonetheless, said their companies will comply with the directive further lauding the government for implementing such measures to protect Kenyans against adverse effects of the pandemic.
Various PSVs, nonetheless, have had a hard time with the government especially those trying to mischievously get into and out of Nairobi using other routes.
Simon Kimutai, Chairperson of Matatu Owners Association, said the government should prosecute those violating the directive which he said amounted to, “trying to dance with death.”
Kimutai lauded the government directive saying it is meant to protect Kenyans from spreading the disease to other parts of the country which has less infections.
“It’s unfortunate to see people running away from what could be protecting them. We have over 70,000 matatus. Those few trying to manipulate should be dealt with according to the law, why do Kenyans want to play this game,” he told KTN News.
The number of coronavirus infections in Kenya rose to 172 on Tuesday.
Six people have died with the number of recoveries recorded as at Tuesday, April 7 standing at seven.