NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – It has now emerged that cartels operating within the Nairobi Central Business District have been extorting new SACCOs to allocate them parking slots, yet the same stages have already been allocated to other matatus, causing congestion.
This was established when some SACCO officials appeared before the County Transport Committee to deliberate how to reduce increased congestion in the CBD.
Committee Chairman James Mwangi on Tuesday said there has been disorderliness and insanity in the CBD, brought about by double parking, parking in loading zones, parking on pavements and also in front of business premises.
“We invited you here so that we can get the best way forward on how we can manage the congestion within the CBD; remember the number of vehicles are increasing but CBD does not expand so if we don’t maintain order, this city will be chaotic,” said Mwangi.
He noted that several attempts to kick out PSVs from the CBD by the county had failed and the only option was to engage with the officials of the SACCOs and come up with an amicable solution on how to manage the situation.
Committee Vice Chair Mark Mugambi said after conducting inspection of matatu stages, they found out that there are limited number of slots per SACCO, against high number of Public Service Vehicles from individual SACCOs trying to access the limited slots without holding places hence causing congestion.
“We are aware that there are people brokering between the matatu business owners and the county to an extent they are extorted for their vehicles to be allocated slots. We are aware that the CBD is full and there are no empty spaces that can be granted to news SACCOS. We are also aware that we have private cars that have been allocated slots to operate as PSVs which is illegal,” said Mugambi.
He further said some SACCOs operate outside their allocated spaces, with claims that others operate without licences naming Tom Mboya and Latema road as the most notorious stages.
“Latema Road is chaotic, you find that there are like four SACCOs operating in a single entity whereby they have been only allocated two slots and its just behind the fire station so in case of an emergency the fire engines wouldn’t have any way of passing and reaching the emergency site on time. On Tom Mboya, you find that the matatus have been allocated slots at the exit of the CBD, honestly we must clear our exits we can’t take one hour to get to globe just because the matatus are double parking waiting to enter the slot,” he said.
The committee also heard that some SACCOs had also been allocated slots despite not having the requisite number of 30 vehicles, contrary to the National Transport and Safety Authority regulations.