Draconian laws will not solve our problems. especialy Road carnage.

05 Nov

Corporal punishment seems to be the approach the ministry of transport  intend to apply to address road carnage which has become a major headache for the current Government in its bind to be judged by performance. Correct me if I’m wrong and better still, prove me wrong, but I can bet you, a hundred thousand- that all the tough talking and all this noise about tough measures will soon die and the plan collapse. Road safety or lack of the same has many aspects and concentrating only on one area like we have been doing for the last century will not change the situations on the roads neither save lives. It doesn’t help much to punish killers after they have killed when we could have prevented them from killing in the first place.

The way to solve and find a long lasting solution to problems affecting the society and where many lives are lost every single day needs sobriety and an open mind. They say “only a fool does the same thing twice expecting different results”. I don’t want to say that we are acting foolishly but we seem to be doing what we have already tried before and failed. The decision by the cabinet secretary to suspend all licenses- issued legally -to all the over 100 vehicles -managed on behalf of other investors- by Umoinner Sacco is barbaric and not for this age and a big blow to many newcomers in the passengers  transport sector investment. Most of this 33 seater minibuses are not even a year old and still owes the banks and other financial institutions and owners millions of shillings and risks repossession.

The government is Just being insensitive while only the other day, we were begging the international community not to issue travel advisory to their citizens because of an isolated terrorist attack at Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi- but here we have the same Voice from the government- because of one isolated incident of road accident- they have issued travel advisory/ withdrawal of license  to an established transport company that has made great effort to put together tens of investors and hundreds of workers in a team that provide transport services to residents and visitors of Umoja and Inner-core area.

We in the matatu industry are not  as privileged as the media house, who for the past few days have been using every available space in their network to criticize a bill recently passed by parliament that seem to interfere with their freedom. they have come up with a title for the campaign, “”Draconian media bill'” and so far they have the president’s ear. Our draconian laws that touch on our security, safety and freedom are passed and implemented with no resistance since we lack the voice. Two wrongs are never known to produce a right- and violating the rights of others is not going to make it right .

As much as the Government wants to be seen as in control of the situations, the method they are using is not the right one and it shows that we still need the international community to help us protect our citizens and provide long term solutions to our problems. Those in power are very quick to react desperately when accidents and other disasters arise only to fade back and wait until the next disaster. When we are busy jailing and killing our own citizens by way of punishment. Our brave development partners are burning the midnight oil seeking solutions to our problems as was evident during the -SOUTH TO SOUTH EXPO 2013-   UNEP had organized a forum on “road safety and non motorized transport” where various civil society groups from across the country and other nations whose objectives is on road safety and non motorized transport came together to discuss and also establish ways of collaborating and getting a wider scope on what other civil societies are doing in reducing road carnage.  The cabinet secretary should borrow a leaf from organizers of the SOUTH TO SOUTH forum and engage without discriminating all stake holders in the public transport sector especially matatu drivers; whose nature of job requires them to be on the roads any time they are on duty. {I felt really honored for a matatu driver to sit next to The head of transport Unit in UNEP; Rob De Jong and get his ear on matters touching on matatu industry .

Let those involved Do a broad research on all the possible contributing factors that cause this accidents and include scientific research, which might provide so many answers, to some of this questions if we were to know more details or patterns that drivers who cause this accidents might exhibit and other psychological reasons probably not considered before.. A far-reaching collaborative effort will bring many options on the table to be addressed and possible consideration.


Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Its life, Matatu matters


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2 responses to “Draconian laws will not solve our problems. especialy Road carnage.

  1. Simon mburu

    November 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Matatu driver s all the best

  2. James Munikah

    June 22, 2014 at 5:12 am


    All I will say is, when the cabinet secretary issues a ban on licences, he is being very cruel. The cabinet secretary does not care about the poor innocents! The banning of licences shows that the cabinet secretary is there to show himself to the public, and not to show himself to God. They shall just wither away and die. And we shall continue living.


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