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Court declines to suspend Nairobi CBD matatu ban

Commuters walk to work in the CBD after being dropped off at the Railways terminus on December 3, 2018/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – The High Court has declined to suspend orders barring public service vehicles (PSVs) from accessing the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).

Twenty-one matatu saccos had moved to court seeking to have the ban lifted saying the decision is discriminatory and was made unilaterally without consultations with the stakeholders.

Justice Pauline Nyamweya has now scheduled the hearing for Thursday, when the Nairobi County Government will be required to defend itself.

The Saccos are accusing City Hall of failing to seek their views before effecting the ban, which they say will not only hurt commuters but the economy as well.

The matatu operators argue that directive to drive matatus out of the city centre was ill informed and based on irrelevant considerations.

They argued that the action is inconsiderate as there was no study or effort to ascertain whether the designated points can accommodate the number of matatus being redirected there.

They added that the ban will provide an avenue for chaos and anarchy as the rule will be survival for the fittest which is counterproductive in a civilized society.

The saccos, through their battery of lawyers, also argued that the ban may result in more harm than good as it may lead to unemployment and frustrations, hence the youth may easily be lured into criminal activities that the matatu employments keep them away from.

But Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has defended the move, saying the ban will remain in force because it is aimed at restoring sanity in the public transport sector as part of measures to decongest the city.