Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai has criticised the move by the Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to relocate the dropping point of long-distance matatus from CBD to the new Green Park Terminus.
Mr Kimutai said that enough consultation with the owners of the matatus was not done before the move, which he says will only complicate the operation of the owners.
The chairman alleged that the governor used force to push some of the Saccos to the Green Park Terminus.
He said that the governor is using the old ways of doing things, waking up one morning and making certain decisions without thinking about the negative effects that it will have on stakeholders.
“Call those who you purported you want to move from one area to the other, talk with them. Let them give you the best method. But if you use askaris to remove vehicles from a certain area to a ascertain area, you can’t succeed. Talk to real owners, not brokers and cartels who have already placed themselves everywhere in Nairobi,” Mr Kimutai said.
The chairman has advised the governor to end the stalemate by engaging the owners and to avoid division where some few vehicles are being moved to Green Park while some which do apply the same routes are allowed to drop and pick up passengers from the CBD.
His remarks come a day after the governor presided over the official opening of the Green Park Terminus as a dropping point for the long-distance matatus.
Sakaja said that the county government will expand the facility to ensure that offices of different matatu Saccos are in place.
During the meeting, the chairman suggested that the issuance of driving licenses should be removed from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to reduce cases where licenses are being issued to drivers who are not qualified.
“Nation Youth Service is known for producing the best drivers in the country, why can’t this function be given to them and then they see who can drive what kind of a vehicle, be tested well and be issued with the license as opposed to using the age system.”
At the same time, the chairman urged the police and NTSA to crack down on some of the personal or saloon cars being used to carry passengers.
The association CEO Ms Patricia Mutheu said that there is a need to protect the matatu industry since it provides hundreds of job opportunities o the growing population.
“Kenya’s matatu sector has enormous potential to provide a solution to the county’s unemployment crisis. A matatu…it is critical for the government and other stakeholders to collaborate with MOA to develop solutions for the public road transport sector to boost tax income generated by the sector,” Ms Mutheu said.
She also echoed the chairman’s remarks on safety, saying that the association will ensure that passengers arrive at their destinations safely.