The government has made an announcement that it is lifting the suspension on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) using the Nairobi Expressway, effective immediately. The decision was made by Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen with the aim of enhancing mobility in the city. The ban on PSVs accessing the expressway was initially put in place in July 2022 due to a rise in road accidents caused by these vehicles. However, the government’s new focus on positioning Kenya as a global leader in transport and logistics, as well as promoting sustainable economic development, has led to the reversal of the restriction.
The decision to lift the ban comes after a series of chaotic incidents and acts of vandalism took place on Mombasa Road and the Expressway during anti-government protests led by opposition leader Raila Odinga. These protests were driven by concerns over the high cost of living in the country. Violent demonstrations occurred in several parts of Kenya, including the capital Nairobi, prompting the police to respond with live ammunition, tear gas, and water cannons.
During the protests, protesters damaged infrastructure such as metal grills and flower pots along the Expressway, and they threw stones at motorists. As a result, the road became impassable for several hours, and in the ensuing confrontation, three individuals were shot by the police. Tragically, the protests resulted in the loss of at least seven lives, including police officers, and left dozens injured.