Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has suspended the contentious order that barred Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) from accessing the Central Business District.
Sonko has bowed to pressure from commuters, matatu operators and a section of Nairobi leaders led by Senator Johnson Sakaja, barely hours after he insisted his administration would not turn back on the ban.
“I have noted with deep concern the plight of Nairobi residents as a result of the ban, and hereby announce that the full implementation of this directive has been suspended with immediate effect,” says Sonko in a statement on Tuesday morning.
Sonko came under fire following the mess witnessed in the city after the ban took effect on Monday morning.
Hundreds of passengers were forced to walk for long distances as matatu operators complied with order to drop off and pick commuters at designated termini outside the CBD.
“Although the directive is well intentioned, many innocent commuters, including senior citizens and those with health challenges requiring emergency medical attention, expectant mothers and children traveling,” Sonko adds.
Senator Sakaja and 21 matatu saccos moved to court on Monday to challenge Sonko’s decision, arguing that the ban was enforced without public participation as is required by law.
“It also became clear that it is necessary to have contingent measures before enforcement of such key decisions," says Sonko.
“I have met this morning with the affected PSV operators with a view to agreeing an acceptable solution that has less negative implication on all affected…. During the coming days, I will continue to hold discussions with affected parties to find a way forward."