Matatu Owners demand reopening of Kisumu Bus Park

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Matatu owners have issued an ultimatum to Kisumu County Government to reopen the Kisumu Bus Park to help streamline operations of sector.

This comes in the wake end of cessation of movement to and from Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.

They say they are ready to adhere to the Ministry of Health protocols by ensuring vehicles are parked five metres away from each other and ensuring passengers are screened and sanitized before boarding PSV vehicles.

Speaking in Kisumu Thursday, the Deputy Chairman of the Matatu Welfare Association in Kisumu James Omwaa said they have been in discussion with the county government officials to reopen the park, but both the governor Prof Peter Anyang Nyong’o and City manager Doris Ombara have failed to conclude the talks.

“We are giving them up to Tuesday next week and upon expiry, we shall storm the governor’s office,” said Omwaa.

The park was restricted in late March this year because of the upsurge of coronavirus cases in the country, but President Uhuru Kenyatta partially lifted the order to help open up the economy.

However, matatu operators have been slapped with tough regulations including carrying a capacity of only 60% as part of the containment measures to curb raising cases of Covid-19.

Omwaa said it was untenable for the matatu operators to move to proposed matatu termini on the outskirts of the town at Kirembe and Mambloleo junction since it lacked all essential services like water and toilets.

The matatu owners are also demanding that the County government designates public health officials to begin taking temperatures of passengers, and provide sanitizers and water points for hand wash.

“We are ready to do self-regulations and we want the county government to provide sanitizers and water tanks,” said Omwaa.

At the moment, matatus have been stopping and picking passengers opposite the bus park on the Kisumu- Kakamega highway, creating confusion and congestion.