TRAFFIC MENACE

Commuters' agony: Sakaja urges Uhuru to review 8pm curfew

Senator wants the curfew in Nairobi be pushed to 10 pm from the current 8 pm.

In Summary

• Sakaja said it was very unfortunate that Form Four students were caught up in the curfew, forcing them to spend the night in the cold as there were no matatus to take them home.

• Senator said that the major development projects happening in the city centre with the JKIA-Westlands Expressway were causing a lot of traffic snarl-ups in the city.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja during a press conference at his office on January 6, 2020
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja during a press conference at his office on January 6, 2020
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has called upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to review the curfew hours from 8 pm to 10 pm to relieve commuters of the hardship they undergo in traffic jams.

The lawmaker emphasized that with the current nature of the public transport in Nairobi, many commuters are innocently caught up with the curfew in the CBD.

He explained to the Star on Wednesday that the major development projects happening in the city centre with the JKIA-Westlands Expressway were causing a lot of traffic snarl-ups in the city.

“I hold that the 8 pm curfew imposed in Nairobi be reviewed upwards to earliest 10 pm due to the nature of our public transport as well as livelihoods,” he said.

Sakaja said it was very unfortunate that Form Four students were caught up in the curfew, forcing them to spend the night in the cold as there were no matatus to take them home.

“As a parent, it was very hurtful to see school children who are just from finishing their exams spending the night in the cold as a result of the 8 pm curfew,” he said.

“Many innocent people are caught out with the curfew and as the Senator of Nairobi I can only plead with the President to kindly revise the curfew time,” he added.

Nairobi commuters in a queue at Gill House waiting to board matatus back to the estates on April 15.
WAIT WAIT WAIT Nairobi commuters in a queue at Gill House waiting to board matatus back to the estates on April 15.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Majority of Nairobi leaders have remained silent as city residents cry out to the government to review the curfew.

Expressing their concern, commuters have said despite the 8 pm curfew, their working hours have remained as usual with most of them leaving at their places of work at 5 pm.

The construction of the Nairobi Expressway has led to disruption of traffic flow in the city.

In an attempt to avoid the traffic along Mombasa Road, vehicles divert to Lusaka road and use Ladhies road to enter the city centre.

Road users from Waiyaki Way have not been spared as they are also forced to stay in traffic with no option of diversion.

“I work in Westlands and traffic has intensified due to the road works on the expressway. When I reach CBD it's almost 6 pm and the queues at the matatu stages are unbearable. Matatus are stuck in traffic too because of construction works, yet we are being punished by an 8 pm curfew,” said Josphat Makau, a resident.

“ I work in Mlolongo and live in Kasarani, so you can imagine the traffic I face heyday in the evening attempting to get into the CBD and leave before the curfew,” Caroline Juma, another resident lamented.

Until the Covid-19 curfew enforcement is adjusted upwards, motorists and commuters will continue to experience traffic horror in the CBD and major roads