MORNING STANDOFF

Gang attacks matatus operators for defying strike on Mwiki route

Youths push and shove passengers, threatening to hit them for supporting sellouts.

In Summary

• Matatus plying the Kasarani-Mwiki route downed their tools on Monday in protest of the dilapidated roads.

• Nawaku Sacco and a few matatus, however, have been operating under the radar very early in the morning, using a different route off the Kasarani-Mwiki one.

Touts during protests in Kasarani . FILE
Touts during protests in Kasarani . FILE

There was a standoff on Wednesday morning in Kasarani after youths attacked a matatu sacco which had defied a strike over the poor state of the road to Mwiki. 

Armed with clubs and stones, the goons ambushed the Nawaku Sacco matatus that were picking up commuters in Seasons area, between 4 and 5.30am.

The gang, which seem to have timed the motorists, pelted the operators with stones while others hit the buses with clubs.

They also pushed and shoved passengers threatening to hit them for supporting sellouts.

Matatus plying the Kasarani-Mwiki route downed their tools on Monday in protest of the dilapidated roads.

 

Nawaku Sacco and a few matatus, however, have been operating under the radar very early in the morning, using a different route off the Kasarani-Mwiki one.

“This road serves us all, and these motorists will want to use the same road once it has been repaired yet do not want to be part of the team pushing for change,” shouted one of the youths in Swahili.

The matatus sped off from the gang which had overpowered them. 

The Kenya Railways has come to the aid of the residents by adding an extra train on the route.

The new train introduced on day two of the strike will allow an extra trip to cater for stranded commuters.

KR managing director Philip Mainga said the corporation will continue running the extra morning trip along the route until normal operations resume.

 

The train station is located in Mwiki near Phase 3 and will only serve Mwiki and its environs as people living in further away have no means of accessing the train station.

The Kasarani-Mwiki road's condition has been the cause of many protests since the days of the defunct City Council administration.

The road serves hundreds of thousands of residents living in Kasarani constituency.

Every time there is a protest, authorities have moved in to repair the road, but after a few months, the road would go back to the previous state.

This has turned into a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians alike who suffer never-ending traffic jams even during off-peak hours.

Nairobi County distanced themselves from the road stating that the 5km stretch was under the purview of the Kenya Urban Roads Authority.

Kura communications boss John Cheboi said they are aware that the road is in pathetic condition, but it was not in their repair plans.

“We have already asked for funds from the Treasury for the job and are just waiting for disbursement,” he said.