BY CAROLINE KALIWA
Matatu operators in Kwale County are starving and are calling the county government and well-wishers to come to their aid.
The operators claim that the government’s directive on cessation of movement in a bid to curb the spread of Covid 19 has adversely affected their businesses reducing them to mere beggars.
“We do appreciate the waiving of the sh2000 taxes charged by the county government for the next 60 days, but this is not enough. Still we are not able to put food on our tables” lamented the Matatu operator’s chairperson Suleiman Salim Mwachoa.
Mwachoa observed that the directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta has compelled them to carry passengers as far as Ngombeni unlike before when they ferried them as far as the Likoni ferry.
The operators on claims of sidelining them in the funds set aside to support vulnerable groups and those who lost their jobs with the coming of the virus.”This is a surprise to us. The governor said the county had allocated sh25 million to assist women, youths, people living with disabilities, orphans and elderly people but up to date nothing is seen yet,” Lamented Mwachoa.
His sentiments were echoed by Ali Mwandoro who plies the Kwale town-Likoni route saying despite all the directives they have to find ways of sustaining their families.
At the same time the operators accused police officers on claims of excessive use of force while on their daily routines to fend for their families.
Mwandoro noted “We are calling on the County commissioner to intervene. We are not violating the curfew laws as claimed by the officers.”
This comes as the county government of Kwale appeals to well-wishers and partners to send donation to save 67 percent of her population from the starvation.