Farasi wawili wakipigana, nyasi huumia. Well, the commuter is now in the middle of the ongoing battle between the government and the Federation of Public Transport Operators.
With the much anticipated reinforcement of Michuki rules set to start tomorrow November 12, the government and matatu operators are at loggerheads. While the operators have threatened to strike, the government has vowed that it will not back down from the planned crackdown.
Why won’t the Federation of Public Transport Operators just cooperate? This is going to be a nightmare for the commuter as public transport will be paralysed in the city as matatu operators have announced that they will withdraw their vehicles to protest the enforcement of Michuki rules.
According to Chairman Edwin Mukabana, they have written to the Ministry of Transport seeking clarification on some of the requirements.
“We would like to advise our members to withdraw their services on Monday for the purposes of aligning our operations to the new guidelines,” said Mukabana.
Some of the clarification they want includes: charging vehicle owners for traffic violations, changing PSVs’ colour to white and replacement of speed governors including the ones that are serviceable.
“We are seeking dialogue with authorities on some unclear and discriminatory guidelines,” he added.
However, Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Dr. Fred Matiang’i has directed the law enforces to be ruthless in this crackdown.
“I direct you to be ruthless and firm while taking action. Do that with consistency. Let us not have mercy,” said Matiang’i during a road safety measures implementation meeting.
The government had given the PSVs until November 12th to fix seat belts, install speed governors and paint a continuous yellow line around vehicle bodies. Additionally all matatu crew will be required to wear uniform and badges at all time as well as display the driver’s passport photo on the windscreen and avoid touting.
Motorists, PSV operators, boda boda riders and all passengers will not be spared in the planned November 12th crackdown. CS Matiang’i promised that the crackdown will be continuous and not like previous instances where laxity on the part of the law enforcers encouraged matatu owners and crew to flout rules.
Do you think this crackdown is all hype or is the government serious?