‘We must change our city, there is no shortcut about that’ – Sakaja responds to critics
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has responded to critics bashing him over his plans to block matatus from accessing the city's Central Business District (CBD).
Speaking on Thursday, January 5, 2023, the county head maintained that his plans remain unchanged despite critics' opinions. He affirmed that the city must change for the better.
He also stated that Nairobi was competing with international cities which are far ahead in development.
"I heard some saying that Nairobi was this way before I was born, I want to tell them that's why I am the governor. We must change our city and there is no shortcut about that," he stated.
"Nairobi is not competing with Kisumu or any other city, we are competing with other international cities and to achieve that we have to make some changes," he added.
Gachagua castigates Sakaja
Sakaja's remarks come barely days after notable leaders such as Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua bashed the move saying it would adversely affect the matatu industry.
The Deputy President who was speaking in Nyeri on December 19, 2022, said that he was the one who asked members of his community to vote for Sakaja.
He insisted that banning matatu from operating in Nairobi CBD was something that was impossible.
"Na nimemuambia govana wa Nairobi tutakaa chini na yeye kwa sababu sisi ndo tulimchagua. Mimi ndo niliketisha Wakikuyu pale Nairobi nikawaambia wamchague. Na nimemuita tukae chini na yeye. Mambo yoyote ambaye anaamua ambayo inaweza haribu biashara katika Nairobi kwanza tuongee tukubaliane," Gachagua said.
"Hatutaki spedi mingi sana, twende pole pole. Sindio? Hio maneno ati ya kutoa matatu nini hio maneno haiwezekani. Staki tuanze kusumbua wafanyi biashara," he said.
Githunguri Member of Parliament Gathoni Wa Muchomba also joined Gachagua in cautioning Nairobi Sakaja against expelling matatus from the CBD.
Through her official Facebook page, Gathoni pointed out that Sakaja replaced famous Kaka Travellers (drawn from her constituency) from Tom Mboya street and despite talks with him to revert the directive, no changes were made.
"Governor Sakaja, Kaka Travellers are historic in Nairobi. Kaka stage in Tomboya Nairobi is synonymous with Kaka Matatus from Githunguri since I was a child. They were evicted and replaced with your preference.
"Two weeks ago, I came to see you over the hot issue, you promised to find a solution, to date! Our DP has now spoken; take the wise counsel, Leave our Matatus alone. keeping quiet over this issue for over 6 months doesn't mean we are stupid! We are only patient. Sisi ni sisi!" the MP wrote.