Licences of rogue matatus to be revoked - Daily Nation

Licences of rogue matatus to be revoked

Thursday September 15 2011

By AMINA KIBIRIGE [email protected]

Licences of matatu operators who removed their vehicles from the road to evade police crackdown might be revoked.

The owners must be held accountable for their actions, Transport Licensing Board chairman Hassan ole Kamwaro said Thursday.

Mr Kamwaro accused the matatu owners of mischief.

“These vehicles were licensed to be on the roads plying certain routes and not to be parked somewhere avoiding officers. This is why we have asked some sacco members to show cause why their licences should not be revoked,” he said during a meeting at the provincial police headquarters in Mombasa.  

The ongoing crackdown was launched four days ago, targeting all public service vehicles and tour vans.

Targeted are matatus plying the Likoni, Malindi, Changamwe, Bamburi, Diani and Kwale routes.

Matatu Owners Association Coast regional coordinator Salim Mbarak Salim told the Nation that the crackdown should be done regularly to maintain sanity on the roads. 

“Police should not use unnecessary force. There are some faults that can be corrected without having the vehicles impounded,” said Mr Salim and urged the licensing board to carry out inspections without inconveniencing commuters and pupils going to school.

He said the board should also target parastatals, council and other government vehicles responsible for environment pollution.

“There is need to have a mutual understanding between the matatu industry and the traffic department and that is why all vehicle owners need to have their cars in good shape and with the right documents,” said Mr Salim.

He also asked police to eliminate matatu cartels known as “squads” to restore sanity in the transport.

Booming business

At the same time, tuk tuk operators in Coast region are recording booming business following the matatu crackdown.

The operators are mainly found at the ferry bus terminus and Post Office stages.

The taxis, which are licensed to carry a maximum of three passengers, were ferrying up to 10 after most matatu operators withdrew their services.