Change the Man To change the Game

17 Jan

The fourteen seater; matatu maybe on its way out and we will soon see more small and big buses on the roads;

Kenyans should not expect too much change,and I would like to tell them to hope for the best but leave a room for the worst just in-case. we should by now have learned from what happened after the change of guard that took place in our political arena sometimes ago- ten years to be precise.

I remember how people had so much confidence in the new Government and were up in arms to fight corruption among other evils the former regime was accused of.Kenyans refused to pay bribe and even went as far as apprehending traffic cops who were demanding bribe from matatu drivers.

It was therefore a rude shock to witness what happened five years later,private companies were contracted and given monopoly to import gadgets that the new by-laws required for all matatus.Workers were then required to deposit advance tax with the Kenya revenue authority to be issued with badges. Anybody found without the card was immediately arrested and taken to court.It was Uhuru Kenyatta who came to our rescue when he took over as the minister for finance.

Today, Everyone is excited about the Nissan matatus paving the way and taking all their bad habits with them. I know most are wishing that we evaporate into the thin air sooner so that we can leave them in peace; but i have news for you. We are only changing the costume,but we are retaining the priest.

I don’t blame the smaller matatus for overlapping, overtaking-{ even when they see an approaching vehicle}- or for driving on the side walks; It is the drivers who do this things. Kenyan motorists should now expect to meet a seventy one seater bus overtaking on a blind corner.What I’m trying to say is that; we need more than just bigger buses. The transport industry  must reform its members if the change is to bear fruits.

The tricky part will be in choosing who will drive the fewer buses and what will happen to the rest of us.

Many people who earn their daily bread in the matatu industry will have to seek for alternative means of getting the bread while those who will get the fewer jobs will continue abstracting other motorists, overtaking, overlapping and most of their tools of trade they take with them to their new offices

I’m not of the opinion that we call for national prayers for our driver to drive safely;I would prefer we re-train them. Changing the size of the vehicle is just like-washing the pig as written on the bible- we all know what will happen when the cleaned pig is set free.

The only measure that will bring sanity on our roads is when we decide to reach out and educate our drivers on traffic rules and regulations. Until then…….!


Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Matatu matters



3 responses to “Change the Man To change the Game

  1. Abdi

    January 21, 2012 at 5:25 am

    James,, just watched your documentary on AL-Jazeera.. I am moved and inspired with everything about. You are a God gifted man who is just waiting for his time to come.. I am Somalian who lives in Portland Oregon(US).. Prior to living here, I lived in section three for six years from (1994-2000).. I felt your pain man.. I don’t want to get into details but the reason why am saying that its because its nothing like what you see on TV.. All that luxury and fabulous life you see on tv, there is a huge price on it.. . Be patient my brother and may God be with you in everyway. Take care and don’t give up..

  2. abakario

    August 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    is there any concrete decision taken by the stakeholders on the plan to phase out 14 seater matatu? I heard it has been suspended, how long do u think is going to take us to change from the smaller to the bigger matatu? am really interested in this business and am just about to acquire loan to buy a 14 seater

    • wambururu

      August 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

      The facing off is still on. I guess Nairobi is ready for buses; but our Goverment is going it the wrong way. There has not come out any new 14 sitter in the last 2—3 years and the new requirement that you need to be a member of a sacco just can’t work.
      Most of the vehicle owners would rather go it alone in matatu business because of the various reasons associated with the say; many are police officers and as you know, they are in this illegaly.but There is still time to make money with a 14 sitter. two years is enough to get your money back and still own the vehicle. go for it.


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