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Confusion as City Hall contradicts car-free directive

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (centre), Housing principal secretary Charles Mwaura (left) and Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua during a press conference at Transcom House on Monday. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG 

City Hall on Tuesday threw motorists into confusion after it clarified that the ministerial directive barring entry of private cars to the CBD will only affect four streets.

Nairobi County Director of Parking Services Tom Tinega said motorists will not get on-street parking on City Hall Way, Taifa Road, Harambee Avenue and Aga Khan Walk while the other street parking slots will remain unaffected.

This contradicts Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia’s directive on Monday that all private motorists will not enter the city centre every Wednesday and Saturday as part of the government’s efforts to decongest the capital.

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“The directive will only affect City Hall Way, Taifa Road, Harambee Avenue and Aga Khan Walk. It is not the entire town they are talking about,” Mr Tinega said.

Mr Macharia said that the two days have been designated as car-free days to allow the national government try out the bus rapid transport system.

“There will be no exception to the directive,” he said on Monday attracting criticism from lobbies who questioned the legality and practicability of the order starting this Saturday.

The groups challenged Mr Macharia to provide guidelines to be followed in effecting the directive.

They raised fears that it would lead to a gridlock similar to last year when Governor Mike Sonko banned all matatus from accessing the city centre.

City Hall may also lose at least Sh8 million every month if the order targeted all parking slots in the capital piling more pressure on its biggest source of revenue. It currently collects Sh1.5 million in daily parking fees.



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