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Over 100 matatus seized in Nairobi for illegal parking

Thursday March 14 2019

Nairobi illegal stages

Some of the vehicles impounded in Nairobi’s Central Business District for illegal parking on March 14, 2019. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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Over 100 matatus have been impounded in Nairobi’s Central Business District for illegal parking.  

This follows a raid carried out on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) on Latema Street, Moi Lane, Tom Mboya Street, Gill House area and Munyu Road on Thursday.

Several matatu operators, who were arrested during the operation, will be charged in court.

Nairobi County Parking Services Director Tom Tinega said that the impounded matatus were found dropping and picking passengers in undesignated areas.  

“We have put the rogue PSV operators on notice. We will not allow them to break the law,” said Tinega on Thursday.

COLLECTING MONEY

Last week, Governor Mike Sonko warned county officers who collude with the rogue PSVs operators. The officers were said to be collecting money from drivers whom they allowed to create illegal bus stops.  

Governor Sonko said that senior inspectorate officers and those from the parking services had been implicated in the racket that had made the county government lose revenue.

“There are my officers in the parking and inspectorate departments who are dishing out stages for money,” he said.

Double parking, illegal bus stops and private cars operating as PSVs have been blamed for the congestion in Nairobi CBD.

Appearing before Nairobi County Assembly Transport Committee, Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai blamed congestion in the city on cartels.

He told the committee that some City Hall officials colluded with some matatu saccos    to allow them double park.

CARTELS

Mr Kimutai said the cartels had threatened to take over some parking slots. He cited Star Bus and Latema as some of the affected saccos.

He alleged that the cartels were using Governor Sonko’s name to extort money from new saccos before they are allocated parking slots.   

He said that Star Bus Sacco was allocated the Latema Road bus stop but currently, more than three saccos operate from the bus stop, a situation he said had led to congestion.

“The saccos have been threatened and intimidated by cartels that have insisted on taking over our parking slot along Latema Road,” said Mr Kimutai.

He said that the same individuals have also allocated parking slots to private cars and taxis.

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