, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – Transport Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau says there will be no delay in the roll-out of the cashless fare payment mode in matatus.
Kamau said there was no reason why the roll-out should be delayed as sought by the Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) Chair Dickson Mbugua.
“There is nothing Mbugua doesn’t oppose. He is well known. He is Mr. ngoja, ngoja (wait, wait) tomorrow, tomorrow. Where was he?” Kamau challenged.
The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Director General Francis Meja said there had been adequate consultation before the deadline for the adoption of the cashless system of payment was set, contrary to what Mbugua stated on Sunday.
“On June 13 the NTSA had a meeting at KICC wherein we engaged all the stakeholders and all their issues and concerns were addressed,” he asserted.
The lapse of the deadline on Monday, Kamau said, was however no reason to panic as there would be no immediate disruption to cash fares.
“There’s not going to be ati a police msako (operation). What we’ve said is that when matatu operators come to us for service, we’re going to demand that they’re on the cashless system,” he explained.
Unlike the MWA, the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) welcomed the shift to a cashless mode of payment in matatus saying it would keep them from, “bleeding,” money.
“As matatu owners we lose on average of 30 percent of our income to our boys (crews). They’re always telling us the police or city council demanded a bribe. Now we’ll be able to know exactly how much we make in a day and be better placed in our negotiations with the banks,” MOA chairman Simon Kimutai said.
Mary Mwangi, the Managing Director of the Double M fleet of buses, also welcomed the cashless payment mode but said the commissions that would be earned by the service providers could prove a hurdle if not negotiated competitively.
“I’m sure once we have more players in the market they’ll be revised downward,” Kimutai assured her.
Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli also assured them that the payments would be reflected in their accounts within 24-hours.
The three together with Kamau and Meja were speaking at Kenya Commercial Bank’s launch of the Pepea commuter card.
One of the options available to commuters as Kenya shifts from using cash to make fare payments in public service vehicles.