NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Three Cabinet Ministers have been summoned to appear before the parliamentary committee of transport, public works and housing over the increased road carnage in the country which has seen close to 100 people killed in the past one month.
Committee chairman Hon David Were on Wednesday said they were concerned over the rising number of deaths on Kenyan roads, and now want Transport Minister Chirau MWakwere, Roads Minister Franklin Bett and Prof George Saitoti from Internal Security to face questioning towards the end of next week.
“It is time we took this matter seriously and took the minister in charge of transport head-on so that we know how he is going to help in stopping this carnage. We are also concerned because we now have great roads but they lack markings and there are no road signs. These have also fueled road accidents,” he stated.
Wajir North Member of Parliament Mohammed Gabow apportioned the blame on the police force accusing them of being corrupt. He further alleged that money transferring services were being used to promote corruption among members of the force.
“We have learnt that the art has been perfected and M-PESA can now be used very efficiently by drivers to bribe police officers. This is a very dangerous trend and we have to come up with solutions to curb it,” he declared.
Mr Were pointed an accusing finger at the new Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere saying that he had failed to deliver on his promise to enforce traffic rules.
“He came in with so many promises and force saying that all Michuki (safety) rules would be followed. Despite all that we have realised that within the short time he has been in office, we have had more deaths. This is even more worrying. ” he held.
Mr Were added that the number of driving schools that were coming up in the country were too many stating that they issued driving licenses to unqualified persons.
“There are very many driving schools that have blossomed in the country and they are not even qualified to train drivers and this is also a cause of this menace,” he held.
Kitutu Masaba MP Walter Nyambati who is a committee member said that there was need to educate the public on their public transport rights.
“We need civic education to stop this menace. It can be you or me anytime. So it has to be deliberate concerted effort by everyone. If you are in a matatu ensure that it is carrying the number of people it is required to carry,” he stated.
Mr Nyambati also noted that long distance drivers were also causing accidents as they sometimes drove while fatigued.
“Long distance truck and bus drivers nowadays insist on making two trips within one day despite the fact that they are fatigued. So it is hard for them to remain alert while driving. People need to work like humans so we need to regulate this as well,” he observed.
Mathioya Member of Parliament Clement Wambugu added that there was a lot of indiscipline on Kenya’s roads saying that drivers lacked courtesy. He observed that there was need for the government to enforce laws.