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Caroline Mutoko under fire for remarks on Nairobi Expressway accident

Caroline Mutoko said allowing matatus on the Nairobi Expressway was like looking for trouble

Caroline Mutoko (Facebook)

Media personality Caroline Mutoko has come under criticism following remarks regarding an accident that happened along the Nairobi Expressway at the Mololongo Toll Centre.

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Mutoko expressed her surprise that a matatu (public service vehicle), which caused the accident, was allowed on the Expressway.

Wait, we now have matatus on the Expressway? Courting trouble...” she commented on the crash.

Many netizens have bashed Mutoko, arguing that the road is open for a wide range of road users who can afford it.

They accused her of fanning elitism over the use of the newly completed toll road, which some Kenyans have termed as expensive to use.

It's clear you don't know 60% of people who live in Nairobi walk to work, 35% use public transport (matatus), and only 5% of them use cars and that the biggest share of cars on the roads are government-owned. So according to you, only 5% should use the Nairobi Expressway?” questioned city politician Alinur Mohammed.

Journalist Jeff Kinyanjui added: “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.

Mutoko's comment was said to be discriminating against public transport users and operators.

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!” Naeku Edith commented.

Unless they are exempted, I don't see why not…but I hear there is a plan to build a super expressway on top of the existing one for people who don't like matatus,” joked another Twitter user.

A section of netizens argued that the driver should be probed instead of condemning the matatu industry.

This is the second road crash on the Nairobi Expressway since it was opened to the public in June.

On June 26, 2022, one person died and others were injured after a motorist who was driving at high speed while exiting the toll station crashed into a toll booth and rammed into several vehicles that were being cleared at the time.

According to a Gazette Notice dated December 31, 2020, only motorcycles, tuk-tuks, wheelbarrows, handcarts, bicycles and scooters were banned from accessing the expressway.

Matatus have been charging passengers extra fare to use the Nairobi Expressway to avoid traffic on Mombasa Road.

The parent company overseeing the Nairobi Expressway, Moja Expressway, clarified in June that matatus were permitted to use the road as long as they do not pick up or drop off passengers within the 27-kilometre length.

Moja Expressway also set the fee for matatus higher than personal cars that pay between Sh120 and Sh360. Buses pay up to four times more.

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