UNMASKED: The cartels behind Nairobi Matatu Madness

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Driving on Nairobi streets during the rush hours can be classified as one of the 100 ways to die.

Our roads are often characterized by breach of the highway code, overlapping, obstruction of other road users, double parking, corruption and impunity.

Motorist plying mostly Thika Road just pick passengers right in the middle of the road such that there is no movement into and out of town.

One private motorist said she once spent close to one and half hours along the busy road which even despite traffic police officers on site, they seem tired to control traffic.

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At this section again, there are “boys” who stand at the junction of Ronald Ngala and Uyoma Lane-right at the sight of one of the government’s CCTV camera- at times they are seen standing with traffic police officers. Here, their work is to “facilitated matatus to offload passengers at the middle of the road or to make wrong turns right to Luthuli Avenue. They removed a barrier that was separating the road. They are paid ten shillings per a vehicle that heeds to their activities.

The same impunity is witnessed along River Site all the way to Karikor market so is Luthuli Avenue and River Road-these are dens of lawlessness and avoid these roads in a rush.

City Hall Inspectorate Department recently successfully flushed out youths that were blocking the road causing jam right outside KTDA Plaza on Moi Avenue but the madness moved to the Railway’s roundabout.

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At this busy roundabout where Moi Avenue and Haille Salassie meets, matatus plying Rongai route are untouchable, they pick passengers right at the middle of the road. Here too, there are boys who control the activities traffic activities. They also mingle freely with the police.

Then there is the bad habit of jumping lights, not respecting pedestrian crossings and driving on pavements, walkways and wrong lanes which have resulted in the destruction of newly constructed roads infrastructure.

Despite the CCTvs mounted by both the national and Nairobi County governments, it is hard to spot PSVs respecting lights, pedestrian crossings, other motorists and the rush is blamed on the financial targets the drivers are given by the matatu owners.

Newly done pavements along Jogoo Road, the stretch of Kariokor market all the way to “Sun City” and also the stretch between University Way roundabout and Museum Hill near Kenya Broadcasting corporation are in tatters.

Do you believe the Michuki laws can save Kenyans?

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