The court on Thursday, December 15, temporarily revoked the order given by Nakuru County Governor Susan Kihika, allowing Matatus in the Central Business District (CBD).
A ruling delivered by Justice Hillary Chemitei directed matatus to go back to their old terminal outside CBD pending the hearing of the petition against the governor’s order.
“Until the matter is heard and determined, an interim order be and is hereby issued suspending a declaration made by the governor on Tuesday, December 6, notifying the matatus back to the CBD,” Justice Chemitei ruled.
Image of Matatus in Nakuru during a matatu strike in September 2020.
A group of six traders moved to court, seeking orders to overturn the decision, which they claimed was made without proper public participation.
“Kihika’s decision is illegal, irresponsible, and abuse of principles of law and power, therefore there is an urgent need to restrain her and restore sanity,” the petition stated in part.
The six, represented by lawyer Kemboi Sirma, told the court that the decision was reached during a closed-door, invite-only meeting by matatu owners.
The petitioners stated that the decision would result in traffic jams and confusion which would affect business in the CBD
“The rights of the petitioners as business owners shall be greatly affected. The move will in turn bring shortcomings such as traffic jams, confusion, and total disarray in the CBD,” Sirma stated.
They requested that the decision be stayed, citing Article 10 of the constitution, which states that national values and principles of governance bind all state officers.
“The impugned decision of making roadside declarations without public participation is unconstitutional and in contravention of the rights of the petitioners,” Sirma added.
In August 2022, Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika promised to establish measures to boost hygiene and security in the public transport sector, stating that it was unfortunate for people to be operating in terminals that had no shades, security lights, or sanitation facilities.
All public service vehicles were banned from Nakuru’s CBD in September 202, by the previous administration of Governor Lee Kinyanjui, in an effort to decongest the city.
On December 1, 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta awarded a city charter to Nakuru, making it the country’s fourth city.
The petition will be heard on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika speaking at a past event in Nakuru