Suspend cargo transit to Malaba over gridlock, Oparanya tells State

Friday, June 5th, 2020 12:22 |
Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya addresses the media on the Covid-19 pandemic at the Delta House offices in Nairobi. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya has asked the government to stop further shipment of cargo for the Great Lakes region from the Port of Mombasa until a permanent solution to the traffic gridlock on the Eldoret-Malaba highway is found.

 Oparanya warned that a coronavirus health risk was fermenting in the Western Kenya counties as a result of the 70km traffic snarl-up that currently stretches from Malaba border town in Busia county to Kaburengu in Kakamega.

“We suggest that cargo movement clearance to Uganda and other destinations along the Eldoret/Malaba corridor be stopped until a workable solution to the current traffic gridlock is found,” Oparanya said and urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene to resolve the matter.

He said Busia and Bungoma counties are already feeling the adverse effects of the traffic snarl up after reporting a spike in recent confirmed corona positive cases and warned that unless the matter is urgently addressed, it could spiral the corona disease load Western region.

 “The spike in corona cases in the counties of Bungoma and Busia in recent days is closely linked to the heavy presence of truck drivers who are forced to camp for weeks in market centres along the highway due to delays in clearance at Malaba border point,” he said.

 Oparanya made the remarks during the weekly CoG press briefing. He was initially scheduled to meet truckers at Kaburengu and proceed to Bungoma to join host Governor Wycliffe Wangamati but the programme changed over alleged public hostility sparked off by the coup in Ford-Kenya.

 “I was to issue this statement in Bungoma but that did not happen because the governor of Bungoma is held up in Nairobi,” Oparanya said in explaining the sudden change of plan.

The CoG Covid-19 pressers have taken a rotational dimension and was last week held in Kisumu.

Wangamati, Kimilili MP Eseli Simiyu and Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi) raised public uproar and hostility against themselves after announcing the ouster of Ford-K party leader Moses Wetangula a day after meeting Cotu secretary general Francis 

More on National