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Nairobi chaos amid taxi protest

Taxi operators protest in Nairobi (5 March 2013)Most people in Nairobi rely on taxis to get around

Public transport has been paralysed in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, as taxi operators protest against higher parking fees in the city.

Many people were forced to walk to work after roads were barricaded.

The fees have been introduced by Nairobi governor Evans Kidero to ease congestion.

His motorcade was also blocked by taxi operators in the city centre and he had to walk for part of his journey, reports the BBC’s Wanyama Chebusiri.

Private minibus taxis, known as matatus, are the main mode of transport in Nairobi.

Matatu Owners Association representative Michael Kariuki said higher parking fees would knock them out of business.

Nairobi governor Evans Kidero (in front) walks in the city (5 March 2013)Nairobi governor Evans Kidero (in front) was forced to walk about 300m to his office

Taxi operators protest in Nairobi (5 March 2013)The taxi operators say they cannot afford the fees imposed by Mr Kidero

City authorities had nearly doubled the fee for a 14-seater minibus to 5,000 Kenyan shillings ($58; £35), while increases for larger taxis were even higher, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper quotes Mr Kariuki as saying.

Riot police police played a cat and mouse game with protesters during rush-hour on Wednesday morning, as they tried to bring order to the chaotic city, our correspondent says.

Police cleared some of the roads, blocked by the protesters, later in the morning, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reports.

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