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Why matatu boss got himself in trouble

A group of matatu owners on Thursday roughed up their chairman, Mr Dickson Mbugua, and frogmarched him to the Nairobi City County general stores, demanding the release of their vehicles, impounded during a crackdown to decongest the central business district, following his decision to call off their planned strike.

A scuffle ensued with the county inspectorate after the group, led by the chairman of the Matatu Welfare Association, stormed the general stores demanding the immediate release of their vehicles and blocked those being taken there from town.

“They got into my car and brought me here along with three passengers for driving along a pavement which is not there. They now want me to pay Sh10,000 to have it released,” said a matatu owner.

The association members claimed they had an understanding with the county government to release their vehicles after the strike was called off, a deal which was not delivered on.


The angry owners said the decision to call off the strike was made without their consent prompting them to call for an urgent meeting with the chairman and the members to demand an explanation as to why the move was undertaken.

They demanded Mr Mbugua’s immediate resignation in a meeting marred by disagreements.

In his defence, the chairman said the strike was called off after Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and his Transport counterpart, Mr James Macharia, intervened on the matter and instead opted for dialogue to resolve a dispute on cancellation of parking permits by the Nairobi County government.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero had said the permits would be cancelled after shop owners complained that most of the space outside their premises had been turned into parking lots.

But the matatu owners said they had not been given alternative parking space.

A meeting between the association and the county government is scheduled to take place on Friday.