Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja now says primary school children wearing uniforms will henceforth be transported for free in the city’s Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).

Sakaja made the announcement in conjunction with all Nairobi matatu Saccos following a successful meeting at City Hall on Friday, where a raft of measures were agreed on in a bid to restore order and sanity to the sector.

The county boss said the move is aimed at unburdening less privileged families in the city, which he said are already struggling to even put food on the table due to the current harsh economic times.“When I was growing up, in this city, we cared for each other. Children were not paying fare in matatus, as long as they were in school uniform. Why are we charging children fare? Why don’t we just carry them (for free)?” He posed to the matatu sector stakeholders.

“You could find that there’s no food at home, which is why I’m doing a school-feeding programme; so that our children can get something to eat in school. And then some schools are far; that Ksh.50 or Ksh.20 to pay fare to school, many don’t have.”

The Governor further vowed to engage the police service in a bid to ensure that the matatus are not charged for carrying excess passengers because of the school-going children.

He however cautioned them against using the directive as an excuse to overload their vehicles with adults, as they will be culpable for fines.

“Today we’re saying children in Nairobi County will be carried by our matatus if they’re in uniform for free, and the matatu will not be charged excess for those children because these are short distances, let us just help the children. That is humanity and God will bless you,” he said.

“I will deal with the police. But don’t use it as an excuse to carry grown people in excess; only carry children in school uniform for free.”

By Fred Odanga.