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Nairobi Expressway: Caroline Mutoko’s ‘Matatu’ remark sparks outrage

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Media personality, Caroline Mutoko, is on the spot after blaming Public Service Vehicles (Matatus), for the recent spate of accidents along the Nairobi Expressway. 

Some Kenyans charged her with promoting elitism, with the recently finished toll road already perceived by a majority of commuters as too costly to use.

Caroline Mutoko: Expressway

It is obvious that you are unaware of the facts that the majority of vehicles on Nairobi’s roads are owned by the government, and that 60% of residents walk, 35% take matatus, and barely 5% drive to work. So just 5% of drivers should utilize the Nairobi Expressway, in your opinion?” Alinur Mohammed, a city councilman, was questioned.

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The following was contributed by journalist Jeff Kinyanjui: “Was the road designed for the privileged few? This kind of thinking is exactly why the transport system is a mess in
Kenya. We should be thinking of moving the masses effectively and securely not
just those with private cars
.”

It was claimed that Mutoko’s remark was biased towards users and operators of public transportation.

“Why should there be discrimination of who has to use the expressway, as long as you can pay? The real question should be, what caused that to happen? Accidents do happen
whether you use a matatu or not! Just the other day there was an accident and
it did not involve a matatu!
Edith Naeku remarked. 

Some online users claimed that rather than criticizing the matatu sector, the driver should be investigated.

Since it was made public in June, the Nairobi Expressway has seen two traffic accidents.

On June 26, 2022, a driver departing the toll station at a high rate of speed slammed through a toll booth and rammed into numerous vehicles that were being cleared at the time, resulting in one death and multiple injuries.

Only motorbikes, tuk-tuks, wheelbarrows, handcarts, bicycles, and scooters were prohibited from using the highway, according to a Gazette Notice dated December 31, 2020.

In order to escape the jam on Mombasa Road, matatus have started charging extra for using the Nairobi Expressway.

In June, Moja Expressway, the parent business in charge of the Nairobi Expressway made it clear that matatus were welcome to use the road as long as they didn’t pick up or drop off people inside its 27-kilometer length.

Additionally, Moja Expressway set the charge for matatus higher than the fee for private vehicles, which ranges from KSh120 to KSh360. Up to four times as much is paid by buses.

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