Matatu operators losing Sh420 million daily as Michuki rules continue to bite
Matatu operators now claim they have lost at least Sh4.6 billion since the nationwide enforcement of Michuki rules started, which has seen many vehicles impounded.
Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chair Simon Kimutai said that they are losing at least Sh420 million daily as the level of compliance of Public Service Vehicles is at between only 65 percent and 70 percent with the rest being forced off the road for lack of enough gadgets.
Mr Kimutai explained that a minibus can make on average Sh15,000 gross income in a day while a Nissan can hit Sh10,000 mark.
He said that Kenya has at least 80,000 PSVs countrywide meaning that only 52,000 are compliant with the Michuki rules with the rest being either in the process of compliance or have been impounded by the traffic police officers.
“Many vehicles are parked because of lack of seat belts which cannot even last a week as they are sub-standard and there is also the issue with the availability of speed governors,” said Mr Kimutai on Thursday at Oak Place Hotel in Kiambu.
The MOA chair blamed the few numbers of PSVs in the roads across the country on the lack of enough speed governors and seat belts to serve all the vehicles and not boycott by matatu operators.
“There is no boycott by matatus but the situation has been caused by lack of enough gadgets making compliance hard to achieve,” he said.
Transport Principal Secretary Esther Koimett on Wednesday said that there has been improvement in compliance levels since November 12, where 22,900 PSV badges have been issued, 4,805 road service licenses given and 28,975 vehicles booked for inspection.
On Wednesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said that the crackdown of matatus which has recorded 40,000 traffic offences will continue, adding that it will be even more stringent going forward to ensure that only compliant PSVs remain on the road.
At the same time, the MOA boss complained of harassment from traffic police officers whom he accused of hiding behind ‘weird fault-finding scheme’ in order to extort money from the matatu operators.
“Whether you are complaint or not you have to pay because they look for fault which should not be the case. They should instead ensure that safety gadgets are in place. We do not have to be harassed to comply with the law,” he said.
An earlier version of this story contained an error where we reported that matatus have lost at least Sh46 billion since the crackdown commenced. The association has since clarified that the figure is Sh4.6 billion. The error is highly regretted.