New wine- But- same old wine skins.

07 Aug

A friend from UK told me that she was very disappointed that despite all the effort; time and money, the Government and other development partners are putting on improving road infrastructure in the country, roads still continue to claim so many innocent lives. She had read about two very fatal accidents which happened last week along Mombasa road. she wanted to know why in both occasions; Matatus were involved.

The first one was about a school bus driver who was reported in the press as trying to make an illegal turn and obstructed the matatu that had the right of the way. The matatu rammed on the school bus killing three junior primary students. Young souls were lost. In the next incident; Nation media posted a picture of the scene and  the writer’s theory as to how the accident happened. the writer tried to draw a picture of how one matatu that was overlapping suddenly cut- in on a trailer; {that it was probably overtaking.} causing the lorry’s driver, to cross to the opposite road; only to be met by another trailer head-on. Both the lorry’s drivers died on the spot. According to the article, the Accident happened as the trailer was trying to avoid hitting the matatu from behind only to end up hitting an on-coming trailer and crushing another matatu. six people perished

Those two incidents reminded me of a training program I had posted on this blog asking for assistance to buy 40.000 copies of the Highway Code booklets and make sure that every PSV driver gets a copy. The idea behind my idea was to help other drivers like me who have been on the highway for over a decade but we find ourselves overtaken by the latest technology. The new-tech user-friendly roads are supposed to help you get to your destination with the least ease as possible. But surprisingly, they have become a nightmare.

I’m a royal customer of MWI-SACCO; because I happen to live somewhere along their path. To them I’m a passenger just like any other in the mostly 50—60 sitters’ buses.  I don’t tell them about my being in the same industry or display my badge to get free. I prefer to pay the 50 shillings fare and sit back or doze off in the bus rather than ride by the door standing until a vacant seat becomes available.  I’m one of those who are not yet clear on the issue of wearing uniforms; so I don’t wear it to work;Without the uniform it is not easy for anybody to tell I’m a matatu driver.

The  thirty or so minutes; that I’m sitting in that seat, are the most precious in my days activities because; this is when I’m forced to call my Lord’s attention to watch over me while I allow another human being to gamble with my life and live. Matatus and their drivers {I being one] are the quickest means to get you to your destination but also a very big risk, depending on who is behind the wheels.

The first prayer when the matatu leaves the stage, Is ask the lord to see to it that we are the only MWI-SACCO bus on Thika road; that automatically means there will be no racing.

I then pray that the driver drinks no spirits. Most of the drivers who have become addicted to plastic bottled spirits; are my biggest scare. I am an insider and I know how most of them end up like that. Many of those who have killed on the roads or been involved in fatal accidents hide behind the alcohol tag to remain sane. The bible says that anyone guilty of murder is digging his own grave and warns us not to try and stop him. I pray that they don’t take me with them to their grave.

Talking about grave matters, let me just ask you to imagine how it would be like to live with the knowledge that you were responsible for the death of several people.  Think of a driver haunted by what he encounters and the horror he see every day on the roads. Trapped souls he helps to free from accidents scenes, HIT N Run victims he rescued and took to the hospital only to be forced to pay deposit for total a stranger and have the vehicle inspected to proof he did not hit the victim in the first place. A man who witnessed a passenger been shot at close range because he was found hiding some money by a carjacker. Finally I want you to look at a man who did time in prison because he could not afford the bribe-price. Do you see the kind of man we are reaching out to?

Well; the RE-TRAINING program; Once Funds are available, will kick-off and will include counseling  seminars; lessons on road safety; refresher courses; public relations and customer care among other activities.  Since the goal is to produce roads friendly drivers, we are still calling for volunteers. Please help make our roads safe by donating a COPY OF THE LATEST Highway-code book- to your favorite matatu driver in your route.

I will buy two for my MWI-SACCO drivers.

1 Comment

Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Matatu matters



One response to “New wine- But- same old wine skins.

  1. fidelis

    August 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    The highway code booklet would surely help in a way;i think so too,for the purpose of refesher to all drivers who mind the welfare of the other road users and there’s too.Good work!


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