MATATUS BLOCKED

Naivasha traders want roadblock moved to Nyandarua border

Says it locks them out of Naivasha yet the town is not under lockdown

In Summary

• Matatu operators say they are not allowed past barrier yet Naivasha is their home, say transporting produce is almost impossible. 

• Roadblock was erected to nab those fleeing from Nairobi after the President restricted movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolis. 

A roadblock.
A roadblock.
Image: FILE

The government has been urged to relocate the roadblocks in Naivasha and along the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway to the Nyandarua border.

Matatu operators from Naivasha said the roadblock at Raini centre had affected their businesses with police officers barring them from passing it yet Naivasha is not under lockdown.

The roadblock was mounted to help nab those fleeing from Nairobi during the current lockdown but it has ended up inconveniencing hundreds of people travelling around Naivasha subcounty.

Naivasha Matatu Operators chairman Stephen Mungai said residents of Kinungi, Ihindu and Fly-Over centre had been cut off from Naivasha town.

Mungai noted that ferrying farm produce to and from the rural centres has become near impossible as matatus are kept away while taxis are still operating.

“We support measures by the government to stop the spread of Covid-19 but this roadblock has ended up locking us from our home and making it impossible to access Naivasha town,” he said.

The chairman said he had raised the issue with Governor Lee Kinyanjui and other senior government officers but no action had been taken.

Driver Simon Mburu called for the relocation of the roadblock saying it had affected both the operators and traders.

He said accessing essential services like hospitals and supermarkets was a major challenge due to the closure of the road. “The border of Nakuru and Nyandarua counties falls in Flyover trading centre and this where the roadblock should be taken,” he said.

Kinungi market trader John Waithuki said ferrying their produce had become a major challenge forcing them to hike prices. He said they are using at least two vehicles from Naivasha to the market as security officers bar any public service vehicle from passing the barrier.

“We are residents of Naivasha town but this barrier has alienated us from the other people and we are wondering if the rural areas in Naivasha are also under lockdown,” he said.

Speaking on phone, Naivasha subcounty commissioner Mbogo Mathioya defended the roadblock saying it was meant to arrest those fleeing from Nairobi.

“This roadblock is part of the measures put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 and we don’t have any plans to relocate it and we are asking residents to obey the law,” he said.

Edited by R Wamochie