BY WYLCLIFFE NYAMASEGE FOR WWW.EDAILY.CO.KE
Travellers across the country were Monday morning left stranded as matatu operators kept off the roads to protest the re-introduction of ‘Michuki’ traffic rules.
In Nairobi, commuters woke up to a transport crisis with many being forced to walk to their destinations while others had to seek alternative means of transport.
The few public service vehicles that were in operation had more than doubled the normal fares to make a killing from the crisis.
The Federation of Public Transport Operators on Sunday called for a nationwide withdrawal of all matatus from the road to protest the crackdown on traffic violation.
The Federation’s chairman Edwin Mukabana said they had written to the Ministry of Transport asking for clarification on a section of the set requirements, adding that they will only return to work after their grievances have been addressed.
The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) had announced the enforcement of the Michuki rules would begin on Monday, November 12 as police maintained the crackdown would go on as planned.
“Effective Monday, 12th November 2018, any PSV vehicle, drivers, SACCOs/Transport companies, passengers and other relevant parties that fail to comply with the provisions of the NTSA Act and the Traffic Act will be firmly dealt with in accordance with the law,” said the government in a statement.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet also vowed that there would be no turning back in the quest to restore sanity on the roads.
“Some people might think we are joking or will relent after a while. We will stay the course until we restore sanity on the roads,” he said.
Last week, Matatu Owners Association Simon Kimutai expressed his dissatisfaction with the matatu crackdown that began last week.
Mr. Kimutai argued that the Michuki rules being enforced were suspended by Justice Odunga and nobody in government appealed.
“Justice Odunga suspended the Michuki rules, I wonder why they are still the talk of town,” Kimutai said.
Residents of major cities including Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret were also affected by the transport crisis that is expected to continue in the coming days.