Tame matatu madness lest culture of recklessness devours youth

Several pedestrians cheat death as they are nearly knocked down.

BY DAVID KIMANI

IN SUMMARY

  • Other motorists park by the roadside to protect their cars.

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A chilling video doing the rounds on social media shows matatus being driven dangerously along Moi Avenue in the heart of Nairobi.

Scores of yelling youths hang precariously on the sides, front and back of the speeding vehicles, while others stick out their upper bodies out of the windows.

Several pedestrians cheat death as they are nearly knocked down. Other motorists park by the roadside to protect their cars. The vehicles, at breakneck speeds, swing sideways. Onlookers watch in dismay, mouths agape, probably praying for the souls aboard who seem oblivious of the lurking danger in case of a misstep.

The most chilling scene of this clip is the instant when the driver of one of the matatus reverses blindly and either deliberately or otherwise rams a police patrol car, pushing and extensively damaging it.

REVERSE BLINDLY

As the police officers push the doors of their car open, the matatu speeds off in the opposite direction while the young men scatter.

A similar stunt at Cooperative University in 2016 left two students dead and scores of others seriously injured after a matatu overturned on the weight of demonstrators hanging precarious of its sides.

Matatus are a popular means of transport, and many people have decried the unruliness and impunity among the majority of the crews.

Sunday’s incident was a classic example. We need a Transport minister cut in the clothe of the late John Michuki to deal with the menace.

DAVID KIMANI, Nairobi.

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