Tuk Tuk Operators in Mombasa Arrested for Flouting County Regulations.

More than a hundred tuk tuk operators  were arrested yesterday in Mombasa. The operators were held for flouting the county government's new city regulations. The rules, which came into effect on September 1, ban tuk tuk drivers from the city's main roads during peak hours.

Executive secretary for transport and infrastructure Mohammed Abass said the drivers will not be charged. “We will take them through the new routes so they understand them better and later release them,” he said on the phone.

The new routes were mapped out to decongest the central business district where tuk tuk operators have been blamed for heavy traffic and causing accidents. Governor Hassan Joho is expected to launch the new routes tomorrow.

“Anyone breaking the law from October 1, will be charged. These regulations were agreed upon by the county government, the tuk tuk association and traffic police to bring sanity in our town," said Abass.

The operators are barred from using the city’s main roads, Moi Avenue and Digo road, Nyerere and Nkuruma roads. There are 3,800-4,000 tuk tuks in Mombasa.

However, the move has been faulted by the director of the school of human rights and governance studies, Hussein Khalid. Khalid , who is the immediate former executive director of Muslim for Human Rights, said the regulations are unconstitutional.

“This is very wrong. The county government is contravening the rights of private investors in the transport sector by implementing rules that are unfair. The tuk tuk drivers need to make money since they also pay taxes and need to survive,” he said.

The county government has identified two major parking areas for the tuk tuks. “We are not throwing anyone out of town but streamlining the operations to control the growing traffic,” said Abass.

[Adapted from The Star]
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