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Kensilver buses grounded in fight against coronavirus

Tuesday March 24 2020
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A Kensilver Express bus at its station in Meru town. The buses which ply between Meru and Nairobi have been grounded in fight against spread of coronavirus. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GITONGA MARETE

Kensilver Express bus company, which plies between Meru and Nairobi, has suspended operations for 14 days and sent 50 workers home in the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

Mr Gerald Theuri, the company's general manager said workers were asked to take leave and stay at home to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

“Nobody is sick at the moment but since the workers interact with many people, we asked them to go home to minimise exposure. We also don’t want to endanger the lives of other Kenyans,” Mr Theuri said Tuesday in a phone interview.

The bus company, the oldest on the Meru-Nairobi route, operates a scheduled service with royal customers due to its reliability.

“Bookings have dropped by over 70 percent because not many people are travelling,” Mr Theuri said.

At the same time, matatu owners want the government to support transporters minimise losses by reducing fuel prices.

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Meru Matatu Owners Association (MMOA) secretary-general Joseph Bundi said at the moment they were shouldering all the responsibilities of curbing spread of the virus yet the government had done “nothing” to support them.

“If you calculate the cost of sanitisers, you find that each Sacco has already spent thousands of shillings. The number of passengers has also reduced and loses are huge.

"The government should reduce fuel prices to help us cope with the situation,” said Mr Bundi who is also Raha Express Sacco executive officer.

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