The battle between Nakuru matatu operators and the County Government has gone notch higher after the operators obtained a court order allowing them back to the Central Business District.
The County government of Nakuru relocated all the PSV matatus from CBD in April this year in the name of decongesting town as well as observing the COVID-19 guidelines.
However, the move was not welcomed by matatu operators and Business people in town who felt the county was messing up their livelihoods by relocating them to none productive areas far away from CBD.
This saw the operators move to court after their attempts to have dialogue with the county government administration failed to materialize.
And now is reprieve after the court granted conservatory orders to petition that was submitted by Nakuru Youth Chairman Daniel Gitau demanding that the matatus be allowed back in the CBD.
According to the court order of November 11 seen by this writer, the court ordered that the matatus be returned back to their stages.
The Court also temporarily restrained the respondent (County government of Nakuru) from construction of new stage pending hearing and determination of the petition.
Addressing media at the Nakuru Mashambani stage,Nakuru Matatu Association officials said already they served the County Government of Nakuru as well as the Officer Commanding Nakuru Police station.
Led by Nakuru Town Service Matatu Sacco Association Chair Francis Njoroge alias Njosh and businessman Stephen Kuria ,the operators have called on the County government of Nakuru and the police to respect the court order.
On their part, they have vowed to ensure sanity and that they will only allow two matatus from each Sacco to load at the stage while the other matatus wait at a bay to avert congestion in stage.
“We call on police and the county government to adhere to the law as we have done and obey the court order. Our businesses have suffered a lot but now is the time to rebuild them again as per this court order” said Njoroge.
Sentiments echoed by Central Rift Matatu Association Chairman Stephen Muli.
Muli lauded the Nakuru Law courts for listening to their cry through the petition submitted by Daniel Kimani Gitau.
“We are grateful that the court has granted this conservatory orders and ours is to ensure we adhere to it” said Muli.
Nakuru Human Rights defender Simon Ole Nasieku on his part hitting out at the county government of Nakuru for failing to listen to the plight of Matatu operators and business persons.
He noted that since the relocation of matatus from CBD, hawkers and vendors have also gone through a lot of suffering.
“This is a new dawn and the governor should know that you cannot mistreat matatu operators who are also electorates. The court has played its role and we all must respect the same” said Nasieku.