Since his appointment as Transport Minister in April last year, Chirau Ali Mwakwere has not disappointed in misreading the national mood as regards performance of his docket at Transcom House.
The eloquent career diplomat is one minister who has allowed the culture of impunity to flourish under his watch.
Mr Mwakwere is an ingrate. Any other typical person would be ecstatic inheriting the no-nonsense John Michuki’s former ministry because it definitely meant an easier job.
Hon Michuki’s team sat down and came up with very viable policies for that ministry. He then successfully showed the matatu industry that they were still under the laws of this country, like anyone else.
Simple logic will tell you that since the policies are capable of being implemented and nothing has been changed about them, one can make no other conclusion other than, it is the man now tasked with implementing the said policies who is the problem.
Road carnage is mounting by the day in this country and what do we get for a solution? A statement to the effect that his main duty is policy formation? This is his way of telling us that the implementation is not his problem.
This has given him the right to look away and allow impunity to take over the roads. What begs answers however is how did his predecessor manage to do something tangible and save lives?
Just for a minute give credence to Mr Mwakwere’s arrogant "policy formulation" remark, it would then be prudent for him to seek vocation elsewhere because clearly the work in that ministry had already been done a couple of years ago. We are just waiting for implementation, he is therefore of no use to us.
PSV drivers are a force of freaky nature on the roads these days.
The minister was correct albeit a little late in noticing that many speed governors had been tampered with.
He says half of the drivers in the country have invalid licenses and that the state of the roads is to be blamed on policemen and drivers.
That’s a very fair charge. It is however still curious that once again Hon Michuki managed, even with the existence of tampered speed governors, to bring some sense of lucidity on our roads. Did he have greater ministerial powers? Did the police force like him more and so they enthusiastically carried out his directives? Did he inspire real and personal fear in drivers? There must be a reason why the same policies in the exact same conditions have such different consequences.
If the minister owns a matatu that would mean he shares common interests with the Matatu Welfare Association. The Matatu Welfare Association, being the helpful group that it usually is, is now lobbying that the Traffic Police wing be transferred from the mainstream police department to the Ministry of Transport to give Mr Mwakwere some teeth.
At face value, such a move will surely make Traffic Law enforcement more effective. The catch here is that the process would be tedious and time consuming. It would end up taking years to separate the two forces while we wait for the minister’s teeth to grow.
The man has ignored his job for over a year so this tirade feels like a broken record. The best thing for us to do at this point is function like we don’t have a transport ministry and take care of this calamity ourselves.
It’s simple; we must all join hands and play our roles as responsible and sane adults while on the road. The government will catch up later.