Transport paralysed on Waiyaki Way as matatu operators protest in Westlands
There was a huge traffic snarl-up on Nairobi's Waiyaki Way on Thursday as Public service Vehicles (PSV) operators barricaded the road near the Westlands roundabout.
The matatu operators were complaining that they have not been allocated a stage in Westlands and as a result, police have been harassing them as they pick up and drop off passengers.
“When the road was being designed they did not allocate a stage and the expressway led to the closure of our old stage. We are endangering passengers by dropping and picking them along the roundabout,” Nelson Mwangi, an official from the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) said.
“Some of the drivers and conductors are in hospital after being severely beaten by police officers yesterday.”
The Matatu operators blocked Waiyaki Way entry and exit points around the Naivas supermarket area, causing congestion all the way to ABC Place.
They said efforts to reach the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) did not bear fruit, claiming that they have been severally urged to be patient.
10:10 a.m: Police who intervened to ease the congestion later in the morning arrested nine PSVs, according to a senior police officer who sought anonymity over the matter. He said they are detained at Gigiri police station.
10:30 a.m: Gigiri police boss Alice Kimeli said the operation is still ongoing, saying the actual number of culprits apprehended will be released later.
Normalcy was partially resuming at around this time amid talks among officials from KeNHA and MOA, as well as the police to resolve the standoff.
11:44 a.m: Nairobi Traffic Commandant Joshua Omukata called for a meeting with matatu operators to solve the stalemate.
“We are going to sit down together, other side the issue of this place may not be sorted today because this is an issue that has been there for a long time. We will need all stakeholders so that we can sort it for good,” said Omukata.
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