Transport stakeholders in Mombasa have vowed to unite with Mombasa residents in major protests to reject the recent transport directives issued by the Mombasa county government.
The stakeholders have vowed to camp outside Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho’s office whom they blame for recklessly implementing unreasonable new traffic rules.
In a message that has been circulating since Friday last week, the stakeholders among them transporters, teachers and students, religious leaders and the entire Mombasa County residents have vowed to demand a quash of the new transport system.
Locals said the new transport system is inconsiderate and has actually contributed to major snarl-ups, contrary to solving the traffic congestion within Mombasa Island.
Already the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) moved to court on Thursday last week demanding an urgent cease of the new transport rules.
In an earlier protest letter to the Mombasa County government, KeNHA said all the roads affected by the new directives are under the National government and not the Mombasa county government.
KeNHA said the move to change the transport system in the main Jomo Kenyatta, Abdel Nasser roads among other main roads within Mombasa Island was arrived at without involving stakeholders, or creating public awareness on the same.
KeNHA’s protests were fully backed by Matatu Owners Association (MOA) Coast region chapter which is also heading to court on Monday to protest the new transport rules.
MOA Coast region Coordinator Salim Mbarack Salim said the new rules apart from contributing to whole day traffic jams, also endanger the lives of passengers who are being picked and dropped in the middle of the roads.
“Since we are now driving on the wrong side which insurance company will listen to us in case of road accidents which have already increased? No insurance company will compensate or pay claims when a driver causes an accident on the wrong side of the road,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council (KEMNAC) issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Mombasa county government to abolish the new traffic rules.
KEMNAC Chairperson Sheikh Juma Ngao rubbished the new directives urging Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and the county Transport and infrastructure Executive Member Tawfiq Balala to immediately stop the new transport directives and revert to the old system.
“We wonder what the two are trying to implement without considering the plights of Mombasa residents who are now suffering such reckless, inconsiderate and immeasurable decisions that have not solved the chronic traffic snarl-ups or enhanced traffic flow in Mombasa,” noted Sheikh Ngao.
The 24-hour ultimatum issued on Saturday lapses Sunday midnight after which KEMNAC will join the Mombasa residents in a major protest on Monday, 7.
The new transport rules introduced on February, 2 have elicited a heated debate with locals, human rights defenders and transport stakeholders cursing Balala and Joho for failing to consider locals and most students who are now forced to travel long durations on the roads and walk long distances before they reach their specific schools.