Motorists in Nairobi heaved a sigh of relief in mid-March when local government minister Uhuru Kenyatta banned matatus (mini bus taxis) arriving from the east side of the city from entering the city centre.

The ban was supposed to take effect from 1 January but it was postponed because of the post-election violence.

Matatus arriving from the west and south are already using reserved parking bays away from the central business district (CBD) - off Waiyaki Way near The Mall and the Sarit Centre in Westlands and at Globe roundabout north of the city centre - to ease traffic flow into the city of over three million residents

However the powerful matatu lobby fought back on the streets, in parliament and even in the courts, using all means at its disposal. Hundreds of commuters joined operators in protesting and holding demonstrations.

By the end of the month Kenyatta was wishing he had not messed around with the matatus operating from the most densely populated part of the city.

Meanwhile a leading operator successfully filed a court injunction barring the minister from including his double-decker bus and a fleet of mini buses among matatus banned from the CBD. Since then, two other groups of operators have followed suit and were given the green light to defy the minister

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Wanted in Africa, part of the Wanted Worldwide network, is a website in English for expatriates in Africa established in 2006. We cover Europe's news stories that may be of interest to English speaking residents along with tourists as well. Our publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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