@BusinessDaily

LETTERS: Reforms in matatu sector are long overdue

12 months ago, 1 Jan 14:31

By: Editorial

Whenever the name of former no-nonsense Transport minister, the late John Michuki, comes up in a conversation, the primary bell that rings in the minds of Kenyans is the legacy he left in the matatu industry. Michuki went full throttle to bring some sort of order, which entailed proper marking of public service vehicles and installation of speed governors among others. It was the dawn for business unusual. He panel beat a sector that had for a long time been considered a hard nut to crack. Sadly, it appears like the impetus of the wheel he set rolling in the industry reduced the moment the late minister moved to a different docket. The rot in the industry, which a majority of Kenyans rely on for transport on a daily basis, is rife, and what has been left is just an ember of the fire the late Michuki started. Recently, for instance, we woke up to disheartening news of a motorist who died in the hands of a cruel matatu crew following a minor accident in Nairobi. Even before the dust settled, the newspapers published a story of a three-year-old boy from Kasipul who sustained serious facial injuries after a conductor allegedly pushed him out of a moving vehicle. According to the mother of the boy, she alighted first and the vehicle suddenly sped off. Instead of the conductor signalling the driver to stop the vehicle, he allegedly pushed out the innocent boy who fell on the road. A friend recently shared a post recounting how commuters aboard a Thika-bound matatu were taken aback when the conductor met their protests for overloading with a remark suggesting that he had a right to carry whatever capacity he wished. Many people have lost their lives while others have been left with serious injuries in road accidents, most of which have been attributed to reckless driving. The aforementioned incidences epitomise the height of impunity in the matatu industry that makes the inevitable reliance on this sector a nightmare. It appears that some matatu crews value the money they pocket at the end of the day more than human life. Matatu notoriety is more pronounced in Nairobi, especially during rush hours. Scores of pedestrians have on many occasions cheated death at designated crossing zones courtesy of lunatics who drive at break-neck speed in the Central Business District. While it is practically impossible for all of us to own personal vehicles with a view of avoiding matatus, there is a dire need for the relevant stakeholders to wake up from their slumber and rekindle what has been left of the reforms spearheaded by the late Michuki. Various leaders have beaten all odds to demonstrate to us that change is possible in this country. Therefore, reforms in the matatu industry should be a priority on our to-do list this year. - David Kimani, Kiambu
Read More


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@BusinessDaily

LETTERS: Reforms in matatu sector are long overdue

12 months ago, 1 Jan 14:31

By: Editorial
Whenever the name of former no-nonsense Transport minister, the late John Michuki, comes up in a conversation, the primary bell that rings in the minds of Kenyans is the legacy he left in the matatu industry. Michuki went full throttle to bring some sort of order, which entailed proper marking of public service vehicles and installation of speed governors among others. It was the dawn for business unusual. He panel beat a sector that had for a long time been considered a hard nut to crack. Sadly, it appears like the impetus of the wheel he set rolling in the industry reduced the moment the late minister moved to a different docket. The rot in the industry, which a majority of Kenyans rely on for transport on a daily basis, is rife, and what has been left is just an ember of the fire the late Michuki started. Recently, for instance, we woke up to disheartening news of a motorist who died in the hands of a cruel matatu crew following a minor accident in Nairobi. Even before the dust settled, the newspapers published a story of a three-year-old boy from Kasipul who sustained serious facial injuries after a conductor allegedly pushed him out of a moving vehicle. According to the mother of the boy, she alighted first and the vehicle suddenly sped off. Instead of the conductor signalling the driver to stop the vehicle, he allegedly pushed out the innocent boy who fell on the road. A friend recently shared a post recounting how commuters aboard a Thika-bound matatu were taken aback when the conductor met their protests for overloading with a remark suggesting that he had a right to carry whatever capacity he wished. Many people have lost their lives while others have been left with serious injuries in road accidents, most of which have been attributed to reckless driving. The aforementioned incidences epitomise the height of impunity in the matatu industry that makes the inevitable reliance on this sector a nightmare. It appears that some matatu crews value the money they pocket at the end of the day more than human life. Matatu notoriety is more pronounced in Nairobi, especially during rush hours. Scores of pedestrians have on many occasions cheated death at designated crossing zones courtesy of lunatics who drive at break-neck speed in the Central Business District. While it is practically impossible for all of us to own personal vehicles with a view of avoiding matatus, there is a dire need for the relevant stakeholders to wake up from their slumber and rekindle what has been left of the reforms spearheaded by the late Michuki. Various leaders have beaten all odds to demonstrate to us that change is possible in this country. Therefore, reforms in the matatu industry should be a priority on our to-do list this year. - David Kimani, Kiambu
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