Thousands of commuters this morning were left stranded, some opting to walk long distances as entry of matatus at the Central Business District (CBD) of Nairobi ban took effect.
Even as some chose to work to the new matatu stages, others could not locate the new pick up points for matatus going their route.
Some matatu operators chose not to go to their newly allocated stages, saying that they were congested hence leaving commuters before they reached their congestion. This mostly affected commuters along Jogoo Road.
“We cannot go to Muthurwa stage. It can barely accomodate seven 14-seater matatus, so what about hundreds of 33 seaters?” posed a matatu driver who spoke to this writer.
Ghosted Koja bus terminus. PHOTO/ FRANCIS MULI
At the city centre where the ban has been effected, former stages remained ghosted by matatus, while crowds decorated the CDB. However, pickpockets took advantage of the congested city to steal from unsuspecting commuters.
Some of those who did not know where to pick their mataus were stolen from by people who pretented to help them with luggage to the new pick up points.
Here’s a video showing the situation at Ngara stage in the morning:-
Along major roads traffic jams ensued as most people chose to use personal cars, while the enforcement of the ban by traffic police and city askaris slowed down traffic.
The County Government of Nairobi announced the ban last week, declaring a total ban of matatus from entering the CBD.
“The operators are required to take note that the changes take effect as from 3rd day of December 2018 and all previous gazette notices/lette allocating any other place as picking and dropping areas within the CBD are hereby revoked and become null and void,” read the notice signed by the acting county secretary Pauline Kahiga Waititu.
Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. He believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye. He has also carved himself a niche in writing business stories. He has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service, Business Today among others. Follow him on Twitter @FmuliKE.