Night ban causing “80pc loss” on small businesses

January 17, 2014
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, “Seventy percent of our revenue comes from night travellers, now only 10 percent come in, we are planning to send the night shift workers home, because they stare at each other the whole night and a lot of food goes to waste. Where will all this workers go to?” Wanjiru said.

She said that this night travel ban is inhibiting the 24-hour economy that the country is working on.

However some taxi operators are cashing in on this ban, travelling long distances at exorbitant prices. “When I got stranded in Nairobi as I was travelling to Eldoret, a taxi driver approached a few of us , offering to take us to Eldoret at Sh1,500, which is double what we pay, we had no otherwise, “ said Tukei Mugo, a passenger.

Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) going for long distances have also doubled their fare in order to cut the loss encountered as a result of the ban.

Institute of Economic Affairs Chief Executive Officer Kwame Owino says that the travel ban was an extreme measure and is unfair to bus operators and businesses operating around travel.

“There is no silver bullet cure to road carnage and hence bus operators should not be the only ones to blame for it, everyone from the bus operators, to the government to the passengers should be blamed,” he stated.

Kwame said that traffic accidents do not only occur because of buses travelling at night.

“Poor infrastructure in roads is also a huge problem, there is no proper lighting on the road, there are fewer road blocks in the night as compared to the day, some bus operators have loans they are operating and they require a number of trips and turnover for them to be able to pay for those loans, what will happen to them?” he posed.

Kwame urged the government to work on more rational regulatory measures rather than the night travel ban through engaging the industry players.

Economic Analyst Aly Khan Satchu says the travel ban has slowed down the economy.

“The Government evidently weighed the public’s safety in the balance and erred in its favour,” he said.

On Tuesday the High Court dismissed a petition filed by four bus operators seeking to reverse the government’s order on night travel by Public Service Vehicles.

The petition filed was dismissed by Justice Isaac Lenaola who said the government’s legal notice was not a blanket restriction but a regulation.

Justice Lenaola explained: “The petitioners have failed to present ample evidence; have not tabled the contested licenses which they claimed allowed them to operate both day and night.”

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