The government has recently announced new rules that are set to take effect from Monday all over Kenya. The rules come as the government moves in to bring some sanity in the messy public transport industry that has seen it being run by cartels and law breaking operators for years.
From Monday, boarding a matatu that is already full exposes you to being arrested. Owners of public service vehicles that happen to be involved in road accidents will be arrested and charged alongside their drivers, insurers and bodybuiders- in the event the body of the vehicle happens to be of poor quality.
Other than this, all drivers must have valid badges from their respective saccos, proper uniforms must be worn when one is on duty and the vehicles must also be registered with a sacco.
‘’We cannot live this way; lawlessness has spiraled out of control and we have accepted as if that’s the way we are supposed to live.’’ Said interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
Matiang’i was speaking at the Kenya school of government during a meeting with various stakeholders in the public transport sector.
The interior cabinet secretary also cautioned the shadowy figures and cartels whom he blamed for the chaos in the transport industry.
“Where else on earth do you find a person who buys a vehicle and before it can start operating you have to pay some mad person some Sh50,000 for nothing?” asked Matiang’i.
‘’We have to go after every body. The chain is long: we have vehicle owners, insurers, drivers, tout, police, the people at the motor vehicle inspection unit, the vehicle body builders and passengers. We shall not show mercy to anyone.’’ he said.
Transport CS James Macharia supported his interior security colleague adding that the days of lawbreakers on Kenyan roads were numbered.
‘’If you break the law, you shall be jailed and prosecuted. These days, because of technological advancements, one should be careful what they do.’’ Said Macharia.
Meanwhile matatu operators have vowed to withdraw services nationwide starting Monday. Their withdrawal is in protest of the enforcement of Michuki rules.
Speaking while addressing the media on Saturday, The Federation of Public Transport Chairman, Edwin Mukabana said the withdrawal was aimed at being on the same page with the new rules.
‘’We would like to advise our members to withdraw their services on Monday for the purposes of aligning our operations to the new guidelines.’’ Said Mr. Mukabana