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Country bus operators issue strike threat

Bus operators at the Machakos country bus station have issued a one week ultimatum to the government to release buses being held at the traffic headquarters.

The operators accuse the government of selectively applying the road safety law.

Chairman of the Machakos country bus management agents Paul Ouma said they will paralyse upcountry transport from Monday next week if the government fails to comply.

The Transport Ministry has of late been impounding fleets and suspending licenses of companies whose vehicles get involved in accidents. This is part of a new push to curb road carnage.

The operators however accuse the government of double standards in applying the law.

“Why is the safety law being applied selectively especially when accidents occur?” Mr Ouma posed.

Nyamira Express, Kisii Classic, Climax and Destiny are being held because their buses caused accidents, while buses that belong to Transline Classic, Easy Coach, Simba Express are still operating even after causing fatal accidents, he complained.

“If it is only one bus which has caused an accident, why should the government hold all the buses? It is unfair because we cannot understand how one bus can affect the whole company,” said Mr Ouma.

They said the law must be applied equally in the transport sector and asked the government to also retain trucks and personal cars which cause accidents.

They want to release the impounded buses because most of them were acquired on loan and owners need to service the debts.

“Our customers are stranded. They are using means of transport that is not safe. They are using the Probox which is taking them as far as Migori, Kisii and Nyamira because they have no option,” said Mr John MomanyI, the transport manager of Nyamira Express.