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Thika matatu owners give Kiambu Govt. ultimatum to remove illegal termini.

Central region Matatu Owners Association Chairperson Rufus Ngugi Kariuki addressing matatu owners on Wednesday. Next to him is NTSA Central Region John Parteroi (right) and Township MCA Andrew Kimani.
Thika matatu owners and businessmen have given the County Government of Kiambu an unspecified ultimatum to remove all illegal termini that were recently allocated to non-matatu owners without following the laid down rules and regulations.

In a meeting held at a Thika hotel on Wednesday, the operators warned that failure to do so, they will forcefully eject those matatus and paralyse transport services within the town until their grievances were addressed.

Led by Central region Matatu Owners Association Chairperson Rufus Ngugi Kariuki, the traders said that it was very wrong for the county government to allocate commuter collection termini politically without considering the welfare of general public.

“We cannot have politicians give out stages without prior consideration of how their action will affect the general public. It has never happened and we will not allow it this time,” said Kariuki.

The chairperson reckoned that the CBD was already struggling with the issue of parking and there was no way they would allow ‘political handouts’ to choke the town further.

Area MCA Andrew Ndirangu Kimani denied any knowledge of these allocations and accused some politicians in the area of trading these termini behind his back for personal and political expedience.

“I fully support your (matatu owners) stand against these illegal allocation of termini. We need order and as the area representative, I should be involved in all matters affecting the people I represent,” said the MCA.

These sentiments were echoed by Chania SACCO Chairman John Kiarie Gicharu and the Thika District Business Association Chairman Alfred Wanyoike who said that failure to adhere to their plea, they are going to take drastic action against the illegal operators as well as the county government.

“If our plea is ignored, we will definitely defend our rights as enshrined in our Constitution. We cannot lose business just to please a few politically connected individuals,” warned Wanyoike.

Sources who sought anonymity confided to the press that some of these termini were sold to individual for as much as Sh. 100,000 with some being owned by the concerned politicians who were eking as much as sh. 30,000 daily from the charges imposed on matatus operating from these points.

The said SACCOs are said to be fake as none of them has been officially registered with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

During this year’s Jamuhuri day Celebrations at Thika Stadium, Thika West DCC Tom Anjere warned that his administration will not allow the illegal mushrooming of commuter termini within the CBD, terming them as both a security concern and compounding the traffic situation in the town.

He vowed to crack them down so as to restore order.

The meeting was attended by all the officials of registered SACCOs in Thika and graced by the NTSA Central Region John Parteroi who urged to matatu operators to adhere to all the regulations related to the sector.

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