In Summary
  • Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said Nairobi residents will be expected to use public service vehicles every Wednesday and Saturday. 
  • Mr Macharia told the Nation that there will be no exception to the directive meant to ease congestion in the city. 
  • LSK President Allen Gichuhi said that the state should have consulted all stakeholders before effective the directive, which he said is bound to be contested in court by aggrieved parties. 
  • FKE executive director Jacqueline Mugo said stakeholders in the transport sector were not consulted.

A cross-section of Kenyans and civil society organisations have faulted Transport ministry’s directive introducing car-free days in Nairobi, terming it ill-thought-out and impractical.

On Tuesday, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said Nairobi residents will be expected to use public service vehicles every Wednesday and Saturday, starting on Friday, February 1.

Mr Macharia told the Nation that there will be no exception to the directive meant to ease congestion in the city. 

Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) expressed their disappointment after the directive was announced. 

'IMPRACTICAL'

Many of those who criticised the move said they did not see the logic of locking cars out of the city centre while allowing hawkers to trade their wars on the streets and parking lots. 

The legality of the pronouncement has also been questioned with the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE).

FKE executive director Jacqueline Mugo, speaking to Business Daily on Tuesday, said stakeholders in the transport sector were not consulted before issuance of the directive. 

Ms Mugo said the order is ambiguous since a total ban is not practical.

“The idea is good. However, Nairobi does not have a workable public transport system. Workers can’t cycle in the city. We don’t have that culture,” Ms Mugo said. 

LSK President Allen Gichuhi was also in agreement with Ms Mugo, saying that the state should have consulted all stakeholders before effective the directive, which he said is bound to be contested in court by aggrieved parties. 

Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) also faulted the move, saying in a tweet that the “decision by the @TransportKE to set aside car-free days in Nairobi CBD from February 1 requires public participation and its unnecessary given that the move doesn't amount to decongestion of traffic. @JamesMacharia and @MikeSonko should be more innovative.”

VISION 2030

Others wanted the government to explain how progressive the move is given that the country is moving towards attainment of Vision 2030.

Page 1 of 2