, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – The City to City Bus Company whose services were suspended following an accident in Narok that left at least 40 people dead in August has been allowed to resume operations.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport and infrastructure Michael Kamau explained on Wednesday that the firm would be allowed to operate but under stringent guidelines.
“The City to City bus company will not be allowed to operate between 6pm and 6am. They must apply afresh for licensing from the National Transport and Road Safety Authority (NTSA) and await re-certification,” he said.
“All drivers of the company will have to be re-certified and the company submit a safety plan to the ministry.”
Speaking to press as he released the final report on the Ntulele accident, Kamau added, “vehicles belonging to the company will be placed under a caveat at the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.”
He explained that the caveat will ensure that no transfer of the vehicles owned by the company takes place until any claims arising from the accident have been settled.
The transport chief noted that whole fleet of the company had been grounded since September 27, saying that nine out of 10 buses did not have valid licenses.
“Further, the vehicle in question was not licensed to ply the route of the accident. The bus had no speed governor which explains the extensive damage.”
“The bus was found to be overloaded not only with passengers but also with cargo that included construction material making it impossible for the driver to have control of the vehicle.” he added.
The driver of the ill-fated bus Steve Mutia was in September charged with 40 counts of causing death by dangerous driving after he surrendered to authorities.
He was also charged for driving an un-roadworthy vehicle, driving without an inspection sticker and driving without a road service license before a Narok court.
Mutia however plead not guilty to the charges arguing that it was the bus company which should be held accountable for the overloaded bus and the resultant deaths.
On Wednesday, Kamau warned rogue Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators that they will not be allowed to operate if they fail to adhere to the traffic regulations.
“Take seriously and self regulate or get ready to face very serious criminal and business consequences or get out of the PSV business.”
Kamau further noted Monday’s accident on the Webuye – Bungoma road that involved an Eldoret Express bus and ordered an investigation, whose findings will be forwarded to the ministry.
The accident left three people dead and 25 others injured.