City Shuttle fights Sonko ban on Tom Mboya bus terminus

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City Star Shuttle, a public service vehicle operator, has asked the court to quash a City Hall directive banning the use of Tom Mboya Street as a terminus for picking and dropping passengers.

The directive was issued by Nairobi governor Mike Sonko’s administration through a gazette notice dated March 22.

The public transport firm claims that the directive will directly affect thousands of its customers who will have to be picked or dropped outside the Central Business District yet the Tom Mboya Post Office and Commercial terminuses have been in use since 2010.

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“The said decision is detrimental to the applicant as it threatens the right to protection of property, economic and social rights as well as fair administrative action,” says City Star Shuttle lawyer Mwangi Mburu.

“The applicant is apprehensive the action shall cripple its business and affect the numerous passengers it serves, is in bad faith and should in essence be reviewed.”

The suit papers do not indicate whether other public transport firms are affected by the county’s directive.

According to the bus company, City Hall officials have been harassing its members by vandalising their vehicles for failing to comply with the disputed directive.

In the filed case documents, the company alleges that there was no public participation before the directive was made yet it affects many Nairobi residents who use public transport.

The company also claims that they have not been offered an alternative terminus for passengers whose destination is the CBD hence passengers will be forced to walk longer distances.

While acknowledging that they have been allowed by the set rules to take only two minutes at the terminus, the company says they are ready to comply with that strict timeline so as to serve public interest.

Governor Sonko last December banned matatus from accessing the city centre, a move that caused widespread public outcry.

He suspended the directive later on “to allow for talks” aimed at finding a lasting solution to the congestion crisis in the city.

The ban which was announced through the May 2017 notices and later on suspended, has now been revived through the new directive.

The bus company has specifically sued the Nairobi County government and the director of parking services. The sued parties are yet to file their responses to the suit.

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