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We will suspend Saccos whose matatus flout health ministry’s regulations

The  Nakuru Governor, Lee  Kinyanjui (left) flanked  by the County Commissioner, Erastus Mbui  Mwenda  when they jointly issued the County Covid-19 Situation Report on Tuesday March 24, 2020. Photo by KNA.

The  government  will  suspend Matatu Saccos in Nakuru county that fail to comply with the Health Ministry’s regulations aimed at curbing spread of Covid-19 Virus.

The  County Commissioner (CC), Erastus Mbui Mwenda said some public service vehicles (PSVs) have defied the national government’s directive to reduce the number of travelers issued by Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe.

The rule was mostly flouted by 14-seater vehicles that ply various residential estates in Nakuru.

On  Friday, Kagwe directed 14-seater matatus to carry a maximum of eight passengers, 25-seaters to carry 15, buses whose sitting capacity is 30 and above to have 60 percent sitting capacity.

Mbui  who spoke when he jointly issued the County Covid-19 Situation Report with Governor Lee Kinyanjui advised members of the public not to board any vehicles carrying passengers exceeding the Minister’s directive.

Kenyans jetting into the Country, he said will be charged in court if they fail to comply with the self-quarantine requirement.

Mbui  said bars will remain shut until further notice while restaurants are to remain open but only for purposes of facilitating takeaway services.

“We have noted with concern that a few restaurants are still serving food on the table while some hotels are selling alcoholic beverages to clients in rooms. Security officers have been directed to ensure the Health Ministry’s advisory is complied with. If the order is defied, arrests will be made,” stated the County Commissioner.

Governor Kinyanjui  warned that his administration will suspend bus park licenses for matatus that will flout the directive.

He said the devolved unit had started to relocate passenger boarding points as a way of decongesting the Nakuru main bus terminus.

Kinyanjui said he had directed Public Health Officers to crack the whip on supermarkets, hotels and restaurants that were not observing guidelines and regulations aimed at controlling spread of the virus.

He threatened to revoke licenses of supermarkets, hotels, bars and restaurants that will be caught flouting the advisory.

The County boss stated that a special team comprising of police officers and County enforcement unit had been formed to crack down on public vehicles that flout the regulations.

“Some matatus are not even providing sanitisers, soap and water for their passengers as directed. We will arrest transporters who are yet to comply with the advisory. All Kenyans have an individual responsibility to do their part because if the virus is not contained it may hurt the economy,” said the governor.

The  governor expressed concern that Wakulima Market with over 5,000 traders and a similar number of customers was a high risk zone in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak and that his government had resolved to redistribute the traders to Afraha Stadium, Shabaab Area, Technology farm and Free Area.

“Excessive congestion at our markets in Nakuru, Naivasha, Molo, Olenguruone and other places is the weakest link in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. In our rural areas we have abolished market days where people from several areas crowd at a particular market.

Such markets will now be allowed to operate six days a week as opposed to the previous arrangement where they were open once a week,” said the governor.

By  Ann  Mwale

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