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WOMAN3

Spank on the butt: 4 matatu habits which leave women annoyed

BY MATILDA GASHERI FOR WWW.EDAILY.CO.KE

A recent incident, which unfolded right before my eyes – in the streets of Nairobi – triggered anger in me, prompting this article.

It was a few weeks ago, when I helplessly watched as a group of matatu touts laughed loudly and shamelessly after one of them spanked a woman on the butt – on broad daylight.

The poor woman had no one to turn to for help. Perhaps, she had never felt that disrespected and embarrassed.

What was funny in a grown-up hitting a woman on the bum? I fail to fathom why the aggressor’s colleagues did not rein in on him.

I am burning, I am annoyed, I am appalled by the unruly matatu crew plying different Nairobi routes, and I have to speak out today. If I won’t, I would burst. Literally? I don’t know.

First of all, public service vehicles are the most used means of transport by city residents. That is not in dispute. Perhaps, it is because of their affordable and convenient nature.

As a result, matatu crews interact with different female, and even male, customers on a daily basis. The female customers suffer. I have seen it; I have been a victim.

And on the suffering part, our male counterparts who also use PSVs to travel, inflict harm on us [women].Harsh treatment on matatus is not perpetrated by “makangas” only.

Walk with me as I highlight some of the issues I think; no, I demand, should be addressed in the matatu industry, which is imbued with a sense of disorder and unruliness.

-PUSH AND SHOVE DURING SCRAMBLE FOR MATATU-

Physically, women are the weaker sex. You all know that, men.

When matatus are in limited numbers, especially during rush hours, men tend to push and shove women away as the scramble takes shape.

It goes without saying: men would find their way into the PSVs after overpowering their female counterparts.

Such occurrences are a common sight in Nairobi’s central business district and even at different pick up points in the estates, where these matatus operate.

A silly question crossed my mind: Why push us away, overpower us, yet when you get home earlier than us, and find dinner is not ready; the children are not yet home, you complain, lament at how you married an irresponsible wife? I was responsible till you pushed me away – literally – at the bus stage. Decorum makes the world a better place to live in. Let’s embrace order.

“SISTER, UMEWEZA; SISTER, WAPI HAGA?”

Touts can kill your mood, sometimes. It is bad if you are endowed with a big backside; it is still bad if you do not have a huge posterior. This is according to a section of touts hanging out in groups at strategic bus stages in and out of the CBD.

They will talk and shame you, when you, probably, think you are at your best; literally smash your self-esteem. Sometimes, they even do criminal things to women. I remember the now famous Githurai bus incident, in which a woman was stripped and sexually assaulted by matatu crew members in November, 2014.

The crew members now are cooling their heels in prison, and their jail term is infinite – till they die in prison. The ruling was made in July, 2017.

Now, that is the kind of justice system we want in Kenya. Relevant authorities should now go for these men who spank women’s butts in the streets. These crude people’s number is increasing by the day. It is worrying.

-RETURN MY BALANCE-

Like I said, the predominant perception is that women are the weaker sex. And matatu touts take advantage of this state of affairs. When a lady pays her bus fare in a currency deemed to be in excess; Ksh500, when the bus fare is set at Ksh70, she will have to scream, yell, cause tantrum for her balance of Ksh430 to be returned. That does not happen, or rarely happens, to male passengers.

In some rare but existing cases, extremely beautiful women, who look well-off, end up being charged more in bus fare, probably Ksh100, where Ksh70 was needed. Why? Because they look beautiful, composed, and, consequently, won’t cause chaos even if over-charged. That is wrong. That is robbery. That is criminal.

ROUGH TREATMENT

Ladies, most of these touts expect you to jump off the van, when you arrive at your destination. “Siste, dondoka na jam…dondoka kabla jam ifunguke…” What happens when you can’t “dondoka”, they push you out of the PSV. That could be fatal, you know?

There was a 23-year-old lady from Nairobi, who was, in June 2018, pushed out of a moving matatu because she hadn’t topped up her fare by Ksh10. She died after being run over by a vehicle which was right behind the matatu. That death was unnecessary had the matatu crew members exercised care and appropriate treatment of the passenger.

I can go on and on… As I sign out, relevant authorities, including Kenya’s NTSA, traffic police and other law enforcers, should restore sanity on our roads.

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EDITORIAL POLICY: Permission to use quotation from this article is granted subject to full credit of source being given by referencing the direct link of the article on edaily.co.ke

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