Revealed: 420 matatu saccos operating in Nairobi illegally

Wednesday February 12 2020

Matatus on Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi. 420 matatu saccos operating in Nairobi illegally. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Nairobi County has stopped issuing new licences to matatu saccos after it emerged there are more than 400 unregistered saccos operating in the city.

According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), only 272 matatu saccos are registered to operate in the capital city.


However, records by City Hall indicate that there are 692 registered matatu saccos in Nairobi. This means that 420 saccos are not registered by NTSA.

NTSA's Manager for Licensing Jackson Mutua said the 272 are the registered saccos in Nairobi. These exclude those operating outside Nairobi but end their trips in the capital.

This emerged during a Nairobi County Assembly Transport Committee meeting that had raised concern over proliferation of unregistered matatu saccos in the Central Business District.


"This is a serious matter because, if they are not registered, then how do they pay for the seasonal parking and where does the money go?" asked the committee chairperson Joyce Muthoni.


Utalii MCA Wilson Ochola accused county officers of colluding with owners of the unregistered saccos to allow them to operate in the CBD.    

“This shows there is a lot of corruption and laxity by county [law] enforcement teams,” said Mr Ochola.

The committee said there is a possibility that among the 420 unregistered saccos, some might not have attained the required standards to operate. The "new" saccos were linked to issuance of fake letters used to allocate stages for them.

According to NTSA regulations, for a matatu sacco to be registered, it must have 30 PSVs as a minimum.


Nairobi County Director of Parking Tom Tinega called for both the county and NTSA to reconcile their lists to get an accurate picture.

“By so doing, it will also be easier to know the number of saccos with genuine licences and the amount of revenue we expect,” said Mr Tinega.

NTSA recommended that no more saccos should be registered by City Hall. The committee also resolved that all pick up and drop off points letters be revoked and issued afresh.