Hope for matatu men

22 Jul

I congratulate  my fellow Kenyans for passing the proposed constitution into the law of our land, i have much hope and faith to see an end to corruption and extortion.Its a relief for those of us living in  Nairobi, and especially those working in the transport sector.

The reason i want to thank my brothers and sisters who voted in the referendum, is because of what has been going on in Our industry, for instance,  the carjackers have been having a field day robbing Matatu operators off cash and a number of our vehicles have been stolen and have not been recovered in the past years.The illegal tax collectors are still doing a booming business with our hard earned cash, i honestly believe that this government has the capacity to put this madness to an end. its humiliating to have people drag you out of the car and assault you in public without anybody raising a finger. this is violation of the whole clause on Bill of Rights.
The  cops have been the all time nuisance for our investment,we have been forced to reach an agreement with them on how much is worth for what offense.
It is now official[since they take the bribe at their respective offices] that
{a} obstructing other motorist while picking passengers is 1000 bob,
{b} failure to have the michuki uniform is between two to five hundred bob
{c} Offenses like dropping passengers anywhere else other than the designated area and other minor offenses like failing to have a photo displayed on the windscreen attract a transfer of phone credit worth between two and three hundred bob.
Its yet another story with the cops manning the road blocks, as long as you are carrying four or more people in your car, you either pay the fifty shillings.

As for Now, we have our fingers closed, we are hoping the new law will be respected by all and the government will bring in new measures to protect P.s.v. transporters,Kenya  is a great country,and we must keep the spirit of Peace Love & Unity.

The Government through the ministry of transport announced eairier this year that they will be facing off all the fourteen seater in the city. We in the industry welcome this brilliant move that will help the government achieve the millennium development goals as well,. as create a better road map to realizing vision twenty thirty[.2030]

What we might have a little problem with is the timing. There is talk in the industry that the politicians are playing their political cards with the proposed measures and that the police  and magistrates will be used to harass the matatu operators over the next few months  and then the prime minister will side with us to secure our votes  come 2012. This is not new and it will not be the first time; In the last general elections, the same method was used in Kajiando north, the police were given the rights to arrest anyone they wanted and charge him in court for a charge that was invented back  then called touting. According to the crime,it was illegal to be found anywhere within Rongai township if you work in the matatu industry. many of us were dragged from our house and locked up at Rongai and Ngong police stations where we could be locked for days and then produced in court if our families could not afford to pay what the cops called Usulu wa Mzee.

The matatu industry has been around for some times now, it started way back when Africans started owning cars and we have seen it grow from riding in  open trucks to the current _one seat one passenger-  I honestly dont think the Government has played any part in the growth. We the staff and the investors in this sector have evolved and still we are moving forward to seek new and more economically friendly ways of conducting our business. Our appeal to the minister of transport is this; find a way that you can work in collaboration with your counterparts in the finance and cooperative development ministries and come up with a project that will create  jobs for the over 200.000 youths who work in the transport industry. Or else, create routes oversight committees that will work from the counties level. the committee with observe the movement of people from each route and recommend the most appropriate mould of transport for that particular route. For instance; Kajiado county has over six individual routes, 126, goes to kiseria, 110 goes to kitengera, 125 ends its journey at Rongai while 129 and others goes all the way to Namanga border via Kajiado township. although the idea of buses and mini buses might work for Rongai and Kitengera, it can not be said the same about Kiseria, Kajiado and Magadi soda,  The state of  Magadi road is not fit for buses, we have lost life’s; and [it is in police records}  some investors  have seen their investment auctioned for failure to meet the repair cost associated with the damages caused by accidents and maintenance cost. As a professional driver, i dont think it is possible to operate buses in some routes no matter what good intentions the government may have.The facing out of 14 seater might not necessary be the solution to traffic jams and accidents. let us not repeat what we saw during the michuki era.

Before the police moves in to kill our investment, let the minister go back to the drawing table and come up with proposal that will help us but not open another loop hole for the boys in blue to enrich themselves.

To the Kibaki administration; You have done soo much for Kenyans; but this might just throw dust on the your clean record. thank you for better roads, now its the corruption you need to deal with.

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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Matatu matters



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