, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – Nine Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators are set to face off with the Ministry of Transport over the ban on night travel in the High Court on Thursday.
Justice David Majanja on Wednesday certified an application filed by the operators to lift the ban as urgent and directed the petitioners and respondents to appear before Justice Isaac Lenaola on Thursday.
The PSV operators through their lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui filed the application on Tuesday describing the ban as an abuse of power by the Ministry of Transport.
“It (Kenya Country Buses Owners’ Association) does not believe that the proposals for the night ban of PSV travel as currently set out will be as beneficial as suggested and that this will very likely cause serious unintended repercussions in other sectors of the economy,” the association’s chairman Paul Muthumbi complained.
The Kenya Country Buses Owners’ Association is one of the nine operators petitioning the court not only to stem the losses they are incurring as a result of the night ban but to revoke the legal notice that brought it into force.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau however maintains that the PSV operators’ move to court was unnecessary as there are mechanisms in place for night travel.
“Let us be clear. We have banned unlicensed night travel. Not night travel in totality. It is very simple, meet the set out requirements and you will be able to go about your business,” he said on Tuesday.
The PSV operators have however taken issue with the timing and implementation of the ban arguing that they were not given sufficient time to get their papers in order.
The contentious Legal Notice 219 was gazetted on December 17 and enforced beginning December 24 following an announcement by Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli.
According to the Legal Notice, PSVs that ply long distances will be awarded special night travel licenses on condition that they have two licenced drivers on board at any one time.
Neither of them is permitted to drive for longer than eight hours and together with their passengers are required to take half-hour breaks every three to four hours.