Starting tomorrow, commuters may have to walk for long distances following a strike notice by the Matatu Operators Association.The strike will begin on Tuesday, 27th October.
Speaking to the press, the Matatu Operators Association chairperson said that all matatus countrywide would go on strike. The matatu operators are opposing the stringent Covid-19 measures put in place.
The chairperson also said that the strike would compel the government to review their capacity issues.
“On Tuesday, across the country, all matatus must go on strike. I would like to tell our leaders, Hon Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta, they have neglected our matatu industry,” Jamal Ibrahim, chairperson of the Mtatu Operators in Nairob stated.
“When they visit places, they always talk about boda boda, they talk about bars and churches but they have forgotten the Matatu Industry. The reason we are striking on Tuesday is because of capacity. Since Covid-19 hit eight months ago, they have not addressed the matatu industry urging for the resumption of full capacity,” he added.
Mr. Ibrahim pointed out that several sectors including air transport,churches, and schools had resumed normalcy yet the situation in the matatu sector remains the same.
“Earlier, all local flights resumed normal seat capacity, churches have resumed operation, political rallies are back to normal as well as schools. So why have we been forgotten?” the chairperson questioned.
Mr. Ibrahim noted that most matatu operators are facing financial hardship. Additionally, he said that most had defaulted their loans and interest was accumulating.
The chairoperson also saqid that despite writing numerous letters, their pleas went unanswered..
“We have written enough letters and where we have reached,they have forced us to issue a strike notice,” he said.
Early this year, when the Covid-9 pandemic struck, the government directed all matatus to carry a quater of their capacity. This move was an effort to enforce the rules of social distancing.