Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Thousands Walk As Nairobi Bans ‘Taxis’ In CBD

Thousands of commuters have been forced to walk to work in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, as a ban on public minibuses from accessing the city centre takes effect.

Last week, city authorities announced that the minibuses – known as matatus – will have to pick and drop off passengers at a terminal outside the city’s Central Business District.

City hall says the directive is an attempt to decongest the capital where more than 20,000 matatus operate.

But critics claim the terminus where matatus are forced to stop are not big enough to handle the high number of minibuses.

There were crowded scenes this morning at the bus terminal and our reporter Ferdinand Omondi has been capturing some of the scenes.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko says the ban of matatus from the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) will help commuters in the city to exercise and remain physically fit.

Speaking on Monday morning as the ban came into effect, the Governor played down concerns that commuting between one terminus and other was a tall order, saying that most city residents “don’t go to the gym.”

“From Muthurwa to the CBD is a one minute walk. Many people don’t go to the gym. We want our people to exercise,” said Sonko.

The governor was questioned briefly on the matatu ban from the CBD while appearing before the Senate County Public Investment Committee over issues raised by Auditor General in the audit for 2014/15 Financial Year.

The Senate committee said the matatu issue would be discussed in detail on Wednesday this week.

Sonko further said he had spoken with President Uhuru Kenyatta and plans were underway to avail buses that will save the physically challenged commuters the pain of moving from one terminus to another.

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