Matatu owners say the night bus ban is hurting the economy and called for involvement of all stakeholders in seeking a lasting solution to the runway road accidents.
Matatu Owners Association (MOA) said haphazard directives by the National Transport and Safety Agency (NTSA) and the police only serve to disrupt lives and impoverish hardworking Kenyans.
“Kenya needs a 24-hour economy to create thousands of jobs but you cannot hurt that prospect just because someone failed to do their work. The night bus travel ban must be lifted partially to 11 pm to allow buses to complete long distance journeys like from Mombasa to Eldoret,” said association chairman Simon Kimutai.
“Experts recommendations to divert the steep Kibunja-Sachangwan-Salaa-Migaa section through was made 10 years ago but why has it not been implemented despite numerous fatal accidents at the same spots all year round?” he posed.
Speaking after meeting matatu owners in Nairobi, Mr Kimutai, said NTSA and the police department must safeguard interests of the licensed matatus by revoking licences for all briefcase saccos and also imposing punitive fine for the fast rising private ‘matatus’.
“Private matatus are illegal but they are there and everyone knows it. They drive beyond 80 kilometres per hour and are now preferred by travellers. Matatus have also installed switches that disable speed governors to enable them compete effectively with the private operators,” he said.
County governments had also joined the gravy train by allocating prime spots for the private matatus further pushing the rest out of business.
“To stem this economic sabotage of our legal businesses, NTSA must deregister all briefcase saccos running genuine matatu saccos out of business. NTSA must compel all matatus to use cashless services to settle fares as this will end bribery along our roads,” he said.