Nairobi County government in Kenya has banned public service vehicles (PSVs), christened ‘matatu’ from the city centre.
The move signalled the commencement of the operationalisation of a gazette notice of 12 May 2017.
The notice designated specific terminals and roads for public service vehicles operating through the city centre.
County officials say the ban is intended to keep the city workers fit.
Enforcement of the ban which was announced last week by city authorities started on Monday as early as 4.50 am local time, with police and county traffic marshals blocking matatus from entering the city centre, local media reports.
The armed security officers, some in full combat gear, were deployed to the designated terminal (outside Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) that the Sonko administration directed matatus to operate from.
Angry Nairobians harshly criticised the city authorities for the commuting delays they had experienced.
They also questioned the competence of the governor of Sonko in implementing the new policy as there were no buses to move them from the terminals to the CBD.
Many Nairobians had to tread from the terminals to the CBD.
Kenya’s Daily Nation quoted a Nairobian who said “Are u really fair to Wanjiku? Walking from Muthurwa to bus station and buses charging Sh50 to Community”.
Matatu Owners Association (MOA) warned Nairobi will come to a “standstill”. Chairman Simon Kimutai of the Association said a gridlock is likely to occur as the over 20,000 matatus that ply the various city routes fight for space in the designated terminals.
Others, however, lauded the ban saying it will assist in maintaining order within the city centre.