Police lob teargas to disperse protesting matatu operators

The matatu operators complained of not being allocated a bus stage in Westlands

In Summary

•Police and GSU officers were forced to lob teargas to disperse the crowd that had gathered around Westlands roundabout.

•Commuters who were caught up in the early morning traffic were forced to walk long distances to their destination following the disruptions.

Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Police and GSU officers were forced to lob teargas to disperse the crowd that had gathered around Westlands roundabout on Thursday morning. 

This was after a huge traffic snarl-up on Nairobi's Waiyaki Way as Public service Vehicles (PSV) operators blocked the road near the Westlands roundabout from both sides.

Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

The matatu operators complained of not being allocated a bus stage in Westlands and as a result, police have been harassing them as they pick up and drop off passengers.

Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Motorists who were caught in the early morning melee, decried the move as they had to spend more than an hour in traffic, with some matatus seeking alternative routes.

Police officers push a bus out of the road after matatu operators using Waiyaki Way blocked Westlands round about demanding to be allocated a stage in Westlands on Thursday May 19, 2022.
Police officers push a bus out of the road after matatu operators using Waiyaki Way blocked Westlands round about demanding to be allocated a stage in Westlands on Thursday May 19, 2022.
Image: Andrew Kasuku

Commuters who were caught up in the early morning traffic were forced to walk long distances to their destination following the disruptions.

Commuters forced to walked long distances following the matatu operators strike on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Commuters forced to walked long distances following the matatu operators strike on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

"There is a mad Traffic along Waiyaki way. Between Cooperation and Westlands it took me 2 hours. I'm now heading towards Kangemi to connect via James Gichuru- Lavington to town!" another Kenyan lamented.

Commuters forced to walked long distances following the matatu operators strike on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Commuters forced to walked long distances following the matatu operators strike on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU
Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Traffic jam along Waiyaki Way after matatu operators blocked the round about citing harassment from officers on Thursday, May 19 2022.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star