Expand the prisons; matatu drivers coming soon.

17 Nov

Our politicians never seem to amaze me as they are very predictable; They pass bills and then go home leaving us to carry the burden of the laws they pass without properly consulting with the people to whom they have imposed those laws..

most of them have been to foreign countries, studied there and even own properties there. when they come back home, with their wealth and all that. they see us as obstacles to their peace and habitation and the best thing they can do, is to kick us like polio out their dwellings. but sadly, we have nowhere else to go.

I wasn’t surprised when a new traffic bill seeking longer and more expensive punishment for traffic offenders {read matatu} I was passed. The new bill will make it legal for a court to fine a driver 30.000 shillings for overlapping; driving through a petrol station to cut traffic, not wearing the right uniform and Badges and all the other ******

It is a good idea though but whose time has not yet come; it might sound very meaningful to anybody hearing this from the media and those from outside the country or those who don’t/ have never use-d/need-ed matatus/ public transport in their life. But on the ground, where the actions takes place, things are different. I don’t agree with their line of thoughts and the decision they came up with in regard to the new act.

The way they specified the offenses is clear indication that matatus are the ones targeted.

1} Overlapping. 2} Driving through a petrol station to cut traffic.

3} Driving on the sidewalks. Etc. It is very sad that the people who support the economy of our country and; the one’s who see to it that every worker gets to his or her place of work and back home; Those who should have benefited from a reformed judiciary are the ones who will sustain it financially.

Matatu industry has suffered many injustices in the past and the way things are now; I don’t think anybody will address our issues or even seek to have our views before passing any laws that govern our business and our livelihood. I am simply saying that; I suspect the idea behind the new bill was financial gain rather than bringing any meaningful reforms on the roads. Many drivers I know will be jailed. I was in prison for less than 30.000 and since I’m not the least in our industry, many matatu drivers cannot afford the fine. But will this stop overlapping and those other offenses? My guess is no. It was reported in the papers that the judicially will see their annual income grow from 80 million to over 100 million Kenya shillings.

I believe our leaders need to change this outdated practices and borrow from Machiavelli the prince

; ”Above all- A leader should abstain from the property of others; men soon forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony; A true leader should avoid being hated by his subjects if he abstains from the property of his people and citizens”

The current government has been very strict with matatu operators since the year 2003 when they came to power. Michuki rules came and interfered with our properties; many of us were rendered jobless or sent to prison; it took the intervention of the president during the 2007 campaigns to cool things a little. Telling the police to allow us conduct our business in peace but it only lasted until after the elections.

The scenario can be closely explain like that of a mother who serves food to his family of ten and then gives them only two spoons and warns them not to touch the food without the spoon. The government is registering more vehicles on the roads everyday adding more traffic on the roads;- more people are moving to the city increasing the demand for transport and yet the best our leaders can manage is to cash in on those seeking to make the best out of the current situations.

Our hope now lies with the police as they are the ones who will make the arrests. This will most definitely fuel corruption as the easiest way will be to bribe you way out. It will also put a lot of pressure on the courts as many drivers would prefer to deny the charges and bet on the courts to set them free or put them in remand rather than prison.

While speaking to a senior assistant commissioner of police and also the police spokesman ; I was relieved to know that; the police have their own ways and formulas that they use to foster a more professional approach to dealing with matatu operators and they don’t necessarily depend on what bills politician pass in parliament. The police boss advises matatu workers to form unions that can negotiate their working conditions and define their jobs to avoid being overworked and misused by their employers.It is the only meaningful advice we have had so far and i guess the only way for us to survive through this hard times.

1 Comment

Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Matatu matters


Tags: ,

One response to “Expand the prisons; matatu drivers coming soon.

  1. Rafael

    April 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Hello there, You’ve performed an excellent job.

    I’ll definitely digg it and for my part suggest

    to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.


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