New Transport Cartel Emerges After Uhuru Lockdown Orders

Cars pictured at a traffic light along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi
  • A new transport cartel has emerged following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order on cessation of movement in Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru counties.

    The cartel, which is run by businessmen with private vehicles, charges between Ksh5,000 and Ksh6,000 illegally ferry travelers to counties such as Malaba, Busia, Kakamega, Homa Bay and others.

    The charges are way above the Ksh2,000 Public Service Vehicles (PSV) charge in normal circumstances.

    Cars pictured at a traffic light along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi
    Simon Kiragu

    A traffic coordinator privy to the ongoing told that some of the drivers were using irregular unknown routes to evade police roadblocks while others were bribing officers to pass beyond the boundaries of the five counties. 

    “Some of the travelers say that they are unable to pay rent or cater for food while in the city, hence, making the tough decision to travel upcountry,” he said.

    Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director-General Peter Mundia noted that there had been an emergence of more saloon vehicles plying along highways since the restriction measures were announced.

    “There has been heavy traffic involving cargo transporters, lorries, pick-ups and, private cars whose surge both ways in and out of the city was suspect,” he told People Daily.

    At the same time, boda boda riders have been warned against sneaking commuters into and out of the disease-infested Counties.

    Boda Boda Safety Association chairman Kelvin Mubadi stated that he had received word that some riders were ferrying passengers across the restricted county borders by avoiding roadblocks and barrier checks.

    “We condemn such acts that undermine the government’s efforts to contain the spread of this killer virus,” he stated.

    In a briefing last week, Kenyatta stated that the directives would only be vacated if the Covid-19 curve flattened. The president stated that the infection rate needed to go back to below 5 percent.

    “Fellow Kenyans, all I can say is that this disease is with us but we cannot pretend that this situation is not with us. We cannot ignore the advise that we are getting from the World Health Organisation, from CBC and our own experts.”

    President Uhuru Kenyatta captured deep in thought
    President Uhuru Kenyatta captured deep in thought

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