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Brace for transport crisis next week with ‘Michuki rules’ set to bite

The government has given its strongest indication yet on intention to reign in on an industry that has for decades operated on the fringes of law and order.

Starting Monday, in what may turn out to be a painful few days for commuters, matatu operators and insurance companies, a multi-agency task force will officially take up the mandate of bringing order to Kenyan roads that continue to claim lives over negligence and flouting of the law.

Public Service Vehicles and operators have until Monday next week to comply with the famous Michuki rules, to avoid the wrath of authorities.

A sustained operation will thereafter kick off according to an instruction issued by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, targeting those who will flout the strict regulations.

Other than the operators, Kenyans who board an overloaded vehicle will not be spared.

RESTORING SANITY

The team comprising National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the National Police Service and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) were jointly tasked with restoring sanity to the public transport sector through enforcement of a raft of already existing, but largely ignored laws.

“This is not a one or two-month affair. That is why we have set up a multi-agency team jointly with the Ministry of Transport. The president has required us to file quarterly reports on how we are working on the changes in the public transport sector,” the CS said on Friday, during a meeting with administrators.

The CS said the madness exhibited towards the end of last year during the festive season will not happen again and that the implementation of the tough laws will be continuous. “Some have said we will get tired. They are mistaken. The measures will be institutionalised and will stay today, tomorrow and in future,” said Matiang’i.

During the crackdown, all drivers must have valid badges from their respective saccos, proper uniforms must be worn when one is on duty, the vehicle must have valid insurance certificates and must be registered with a SACCO.

RECKLESS DRIVING

His sentiments were echoed by his counterpart in the Transport Ministry James Macharia, who cautioned that time for reckless driving was over.

“If you break the law, you shall be jailed and prosecuted. These days, because of technological advancements, one should be careful what they do.”

Apart from operators, insurance companies and vehicle body builders will be targeted. Those that flout the prescribed laws will face arrest and prosecution.

Compromised law enforcement officers will not be spared either. Motor vehicle inspection unit officers found to be complacent will face a raft of retributive measures.