Gachagua asks matatu owners to stay put, operate from Nairobi CBD
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has called on matatus owners to continue operating from Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) despite Governor Johnson Sakaja's order.
Gachagua said the decision to remove the public service vehicles from the CBD was rushed before an alternative was provided.
“Those who come to town are not complaining of congestion because that is where they get their daily bread.
"When those planning to evict matatus from the CBD bring trains, we shall accept that they remove Matatus but for now there are no trains or buses,” Gachagua said during an interview on a local television station.
The DP has been at loggerheads with Governor Sakaja over the decision to remove matatus from the town centre.
“I do not have any problems with anyone, but anyone who feels that there should be a change or shift in status quo, they should first consider how it will change the lives of Kenyans and have a dialogue about it before making any decisions,” he said.
Gachagua on nightclubs
On the closure of nightclubs in residential areas, the DP said the governor should have given time to the businessmen to look for an alternative to controlling noise pollution.
“You are the same people who have issued these businessmen and women with licenses to operate clubs within the residential areas.
"You cannot wake up one day and decide to close their business. These people have invested their money there,” he said.
Governor Sakaja on Sunday, January 8 told his critics to keep off and let him manage affairs of the county.
Appearing to respond to some senior Kenya Kwanza leaders who have openly opposed some of his policies, Sakaja said Nairobi will change regardless of people he termed as “noisemakers.”
Governor, who spoke while receiving a report from a taskforce he formed to review the county health system, said he will continue rolling out his planned changes and that there will be no turning back.
“I have heard talk that Nairobi was like this before I was born but I want to tell them that’s why I am the governor. We must change our city and there is no shortcut to that.
“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 said.
Sakaja, in particular, said his quest to close bars in residential areas was on course, maintaining that he will push it until the end.
“When we say that we want our children to have peaceful nights, to sleep without noise we mean it. We will make sure there is silence in our neighbourhoods.
"That one has to be done. Those who have bars can do their business but they should be considerate. It can’t just be about profit, they should reduce the noise,” he said.
Gachagua versus Sakaja
His remarks came in the wake of sustained attacks by leaders who claimed that his policies were affecting businesses owned by Mt Kenya.
Sakaja’s policy pronouncements banning nightclub operations in residential areas and restricting entry by public service vehicles to the central business district have triggered a reprimand by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and top Mt Kenya leaders.
“We do not want his high speed (in making decisions) and I have summoned him for a sitting ... It is a ‘no’ for any of his decisions that might have a negative effect on our people,” Rigathi said recently.
“We made you governor and we are vigilant on our interests and we must get involved in those decisions that have an effect on our people,” the DP added.
In its report, the task force chaired by Dr Gitahi Githinji recommended that the health budget be increased from the current 21 per cent allocation.