City traders threaten to withold taxes over matatu termini
Traders in Nairobi’s central business district have threatened to withhold taxes to county government if haphazard allocation of matatu (bus) stops is not rectified within 90 days.
The traders said the new stages allocated to matatus have disrupted their businesses.
The traders, who met Starehe MP Maina Kamanda on Monday, urged him to petition the Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero on the issue.
They said they were losing business as a result of the new policy by City Hall to allocate matatu operators several more bus stops in the city.
CUSTOMERS SHY AWAY
They said pollution, hooting, loud music and uncouth language by touts has made customers shy away from their shops.
“Each trader is paying up to Sh200,000 in taxes per year but the new stages are preventing customers from accessing our premises,” said Mr Kuria Githaiga, a trader.
The traders said even eateries have been affected. Bernard Githaiga, who owns a hotel in downtown Nairobi, said as result of the new stages, his business has been affected.
“The pollution and noise from the touts, not forgetting that the buses are packed just outside the hotel has really pushed customers away,” he said.
Some of the roads that are most affected include Luthuli Avenue, Munyu Road, Ronald Ngala Street and Sheikh Karume Road.
“There seem to be a deliberate move to disable us financially. We have complained to City Hall but there has not been a positive response,” said Mr. Githaiga.
Mr Kamanda said he was aware City Hall’s engineering and inspectorate departments were colluding with powerful matatu operators to turn the mentioned roads as “a big bus stop”, thereby affecting businesses.
“Matatu operators are paying Sh4 million to get these booths even without considering that traders require their own spaces to load or unload their wares,” said Mr Kamanda.
He said matatus ought to be in properly designated areas.