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Matatus issue strike notice over traffic laws

Matatu operators plan to hold countrywide demonstrations on Wednesday against the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) for slapping a ban on Embassava sacco.

The operators say the rule that impose a blanket ban on an entire Sacco when one vehicle commits an offence is unfair and should be scrapped.

The Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) claim that the collective punishment is an abuse of their rights.

They said that the clauses in the NTSA Act to remove number plates and suspend saccos were sneaked into the law as they were not in the initial draft bill.

The matatus plan on paralyzing transport on Monday and assembling at Uhuru park to seek an audience with the president.

MWA chairperson Dickson Mbugua said they will need to strategize with operators across the country to have natatus outside the city down their tools in solidarity.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION

“NTSA affects us all, they banned the Great Rift Valley Sacco in Nakuru and Kabras Sacco in Kakemega. We want to have the entire country public transport participate in the industrial action,” he said.

Mr Mbugua who was addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Friday said NTSA Director General Mr Francis Meja and Chief Executive John Muya must be moved from the authority.

The operators are also demanding that NTSA board be restructured to include representation from the matatu industry.

“They are making very bad policies because none of the board members have a practical experience in public transport,” Mr Mbugua said.

Mr Mbugua said NTSA was replacing the traffic police in the habit of extortion and forgetting their mandate as a body set up to address road safety.

They also demanded that the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Social Securities Fund (NSSF) to stop demanding for statutory arrears from matatus.

The government schemes want matatus to pay up arrears for their employees accumulated since 2013 when the law came into effect.