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Nairobi residents walk to work as matatu operators strike

Wednesday March 05 2014
walking

Commuters walking to town along Thika road after Matatu operators blocked the road. PHOTO | JOEL MUINDE

By NATION REPORTER

Matatu operators in Nairobi and Central Kenya have warned of a nationwide strike tomorrow, Thursday, if the Nairobi County government declines to hold dialogue with them in a bid to reduce the increased parking fees

The operators said they would hold a peaceful protest and present a petition to Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero asking him to reduce the levies.

Nairobi commuters were Wednesday morning forced to walk to town, after the matatu operators blocked Thika road near Pangani footbridge with stones to protest the high levies.

The operators abandoned their vehicles at Donholm roundabout forcing Nairobi residents using Jogoo Road to walk to town.

However, by 7:20am, business was as usual along Ngong road, Langata road and Mombasa road.

Operators along Langata road are said to have raised fares.

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The Nairobi Traffic boss said police working were working to re-open Jogoo, Thika and Donholm roads after matatu operators blocked them early in the morning.

REMOVE NUMBER PLATES

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo ordered number plates of matatus blocking roads removed and handed over to the relevant authorities.

He said motorists' grievances could be heard without blocking or obstructing the road to other road users.

On Enterprise road, matatus found operating were attacked and the crew and even some of the passengers robbed.

The operators had earlier warned they would go on strike over what they claimed to be betrayal by the Nairobi Dr Evans Kidero.

According to the Nairobi Metropolitan Union (NMU) the county government had agreed to tentatively lower parking fees for them from this month.

In the deal the union says it struck with Nairobi governor, 14-seater matatu owners were to pay Sh3,650 down from Sh5,000 while 41-seater matatus would part with Sh5,500 down from Sh8,000. Matatus with a capacity of 41 passengers would pay Sh7,250.

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