In Summary
  • Motorists incur extra costs as they are forced to park vehicles in private bays.
  • Filthy and noisy boda bodas have taken up the remaining space.

Nakuru streets, once described as the cleanest in East Africa, may have worn the unenviable “clogged streets” tag following an invasion by matatus in the town centre.

That comes as the government said it had earmarked the town for upgrading to city status.

Of late, nearly every space in the hitherto orderly central business district has been turned into a terminus, making the town noisy as touts shout at the top of their voices in their scramble for passengers.

CARTELS

Traders in the CBD blame the county government for authorising the terminuses.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, however, blames cartels collaborating with corrupt county officers in the past regime to issue illegal licences to transporters.

“The licences of these illegal terminuses will be cancelled and we will evict all of them from the CBD as we cannot waste any more time on this issue,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

The governor is, however, likely to encounter resistance.

While in normal circumstances allocation of terminuses is done by the Department of Infrastructure, due to corruption, that role has been taken over by sub-county bosses and junior enforcement officers.

“Junior officers collude with cartels to allocate terminuses to matatu operators,” said a senior officer at the Department of Trade who requested anonymity.

GRIDLOCKS

The runaway invasion is causing unnecessary gridlocks.

The hardest-hit streets include Pandit Nehru Road, which has such a terminus opposite the Nation Media Group’s regional bureau offices. Matatus have blocked the road at Eros Cinema and at the junction of Geoffrey Kamau Avenue junction, endangering motorists on the busy highway.

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