Transport in Kenya paralyzed by taxi operators’ strike



By Godfrey Olukya 4-12-2012

A good number of workers in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and other towns did not turn up to their places of work today due to an ongoing strike by taxi operators.

Most of those who went to work today walked on foot yet it was raining heavily.

Taxi’s, locally called Matatus in Kenya stayed away from work because owners were protesting against new traffic laws. They complain that the new laws are very oppressive and will make their work unbearable.

‘Transport was paralyzed allover the country because matatu operators are on strike protesting against the new traffic laws. ‘said Remmy Onyango an official from transport ministry.

One of the taxi operators, Stevo Odhiambo said that the new traffic laws are unnecessarily tough coming with heavy fines and jail terms for traffic offenders.

He said, ‘We can not work under the new traffic laws. They are inhumane. We will strike until when they are removed.’

Some taxi operators attempted to block some roads in Nairobi but police dispersed them. In farm areas traders and farmers incurred losses because they could not ferry their produce to markets.

Some shop keepers in Nairobi and some towns have opted to close their shops because they were not getting customers coming to buy items since most of them are ferried by taxis to towns.

‘We are urging the government to consider amending the traffic rules so that normal operations can resume. ‘said a matatu driver.

A few private vehicles are ferrying commuters at exorbitant rates. According to one of the commuters, Ken Kairu, he paid 300 shillings for a journey he has been paying 100 shillings everyday in taxis.


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