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Sonko to crack down on corrupt City Hall officers linked to illegal matatu stages

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko has vowed to crackdown on City Hall officials who have been creating illegal matatu stages in the county for Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators in return for kickbacks.

Governor Sonko said that senior inspectorate officers and those from the parking services have been seriously implicated in the racket that has seen the county government lose a lot of revenue in the process.

He said that the actions of the officers have been going against the bid by both the national and county governments to decongest Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).

“We are working hard with the national government to put the new stages to decongest the city centre but here you find people within my administration are going behind to sell stages to new PSV operators. This is wrong,” said Mr Sonko on Thursday by phone.

He said that he has received intelligence reports that the officers are engaging in the act of creating the illegal stages on a daily basis vowing to clamp down on the implicated officers when he is back in office from Mombasa where he went to bury his grandmother.

“There are my officers in the parking and inspectorate departments who are dishing out stages for money. I have that intelligence and after my mourning period is over, I will stamp authority and take charge. I know them and some of them are very senior officers in the inspectorate department,” he said.

The City Hall boss said that shop owners and traders have been complaining that the illegal stages are blocking their premises.

City Hall Parking Services director Tom Tinega admitted to parking officers being part of the cartel that has been creating the illegal matatu stages, saying that quite a number of places where there should be no termini in the CBD have been illegally allocated.

He pointed out that the affected areas include Tom Mboya Avenue, Accra Road, lanes along Haile Selassie and Moi Avenues, Latema road, and Taveta Lane.

“It has been happening over a period of time where you find the illegal stages coming up every day,” he said.

Mr Tinega stated that the department is in the process of setting up a team that will entirely deal with the menace saying that it looks like the normal way of dealing with the problem has not worked.

“We will hold the new team into account for not taking action into addressing the encroachment. We want to make sure that Nairobi has some sanity and order where matatus are not just operating anywhere,” he said.

Last month, City Hall issued a notice warning matatus picking up and dropping off passengers at non-gazetted locations in Nairobi’s city centre will be impounded.