Sonko: Nairobians, I'm sorry - Daily Nation

Sonko apologises to commuters, asks for support

Monday December 3 2018

matatu ban

Commuters walk to work in the CBD after being dropped off at the Railways terminus on December 3, 2018. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has apologised to commuters for pain caused by city centre matatu ban and asked for support assuring them that the situation is set to improve.

Mr Sonko says the decision to bar matatus from the Central Business District is not meant to punish residents but to bring order in the city.

"It's a good thing," he said of the ban that has seen major roads into the city clogged, adding, "but as you know, all good things are painful. The aim is not to punish the same people who voted for us."

The governor said his administration has invested heavily in construction of bus termini in Ngara and Muthurwa which are ready for use.

"It's a matter of time and things will improve," he said, pleading for support to ensure success of the ban.

Mr Sonko was speaking when he appeared before the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee to respond to 2014/15 audit queries raised by the Auditor -General.

The matter was raised by the chairman of the committee Moses Kajwang' who complained the implementation of the ban had inconvenienced residents.

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga asked the governor to explain whether he had subjected the ban to public participation while Narok's Ledama ole Kina warned the governor that rushed implementation of the directive could harm investors as most vehicles leased.

"Nairobi is one of the leading commercial destinations in the world but matatu madness, boda bodas have undermined everything. We cant allow this. We must have an orderly city, " Mr Sonko said as he asked for patience from Nairobians.

A 2012 IBM research revealed that Kenya losses around Sh50 million a day due to time wasted on the road.

Another study that was conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that more than 80 percent of public transport along trunk roads consists of 14-seater matatus, an ineffective use of the limited urban infrastructure and causes traffic congestion and traffic accidents.

It was the JICA report that recommended matatu route-cut at the CBD along major public transport corridors such as Thika Road and the consequent erection of termini at Globe Cinema Roundabout, Presidential Pavilion near Uhuru Park to cut off matatu routes to/from Ngong Road, and in Muthurwa Estate to cut matatu routes to/from Jogoo Road and Enterprise Road.

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