Home > Business & Finance > Matatu, bar operators in Murang’a decry huge losses

Matatu, bar operators in Murang’a decry huge losses

Matatu operators and bar owners in Murang’a have decried huge losses they have continued to incur on daily basis occasioned by covid-19.
For instance, since the government announced measures to have public service vehicles ferry fewer passengers in February this year, the area transport sector has lost more than a billion shillings.
Led by their chairman Francis Manyeki, the transporters said Friday that the situation worsened even further, when the government later on announced cessation of movement to and from the Nairobi metropolis.
Manyeki who chairs the county matatu owners’ association said the vibrant sector was making a loss of about Sh12 million daily.
He said the local transport industry has employed about 10, 000 people, currently out of job and crying for help, since they have no income.
The matatu and bar owners were speaking at the Murang’a county government offices Friday, as area governor Mwangi wa Iria donated assorted food items to support families of those who previously worked in bars and in the matatu sector.
The donation is aimed at supporting bar workers, who have been idle since the government halted operation of bars three months ago, as one of the measures to contain the spread of covid-19.
Drivers and their conductors, equally affected after the President announced cessation of transport in and out of Nairobi metropolitan area, have also been brought on board.
Manyeki said more than 2000 vehicles that used to transport passengers between Murang’a and Nairobi regions are currently grounded.
The county Chairman of bar operators, Simon Jogoo said the sector had employed more than 8,000 people who currently jobless.
Jogoo observed that there are about 2,100 bars in the county, generating close to Sh10 million on daily basis.
“We appreciate the support the governor has given us in form of food. The donation will go to our workers who have not been getting income after closure of bars,” he said.
He said, “should the government allow us to reopen, we would strictly follow the laid down guidelines to ensure our customers are safe from contracting the deadly disease.”
On his part, Wa Iria said about 30, 000 vulnerable people mostly will get food assistance from the county government.
Every individual is slated to get 10 kilos of assorted food items, with the governor saying the first bunch to benefit were the bar and matatu workers.
“Others in the list for the food donation are church members and other the less fortunate members of the society who will get their food through ward administrators,” he added.
The governor said the donation was only a stop gap measure to cushion some of the residents from the adverse effects of coronavirus, adding that those set to benefit are selected by local leaders.
He pleaded with the national government to reopen the economy gradually, especially in regions not badly affected by covid-19.
By Bernard Munyao

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